Bishop Peter Ingham takes up Pope Francis’ call in South West Sydney as new evangelising ministry is announced
11 November 2014 | Media release from the Diocese of Wollongong
Taking inspiration from Pope Francis’ call for the Catholic Church to reach out in new and radical ways, Bishop Peter Ingham has announced a bold initiative in South West Sydney (part of the Diocese of Wollongong), to reach out to those in the community who are disconnected from church and faith, with a particular focus on Catholics who have stopped attending Church.
Over recent months, Bishop Ingham has been negotiating with Mr Bruce Downes from The Catholic Guy Impact Communities (TCGIC) to establish an evangelising initiative in South West Sydney to engage adults, young people and children who are disconnected from the Church, in a style that is vibrant and contemporary, including weekly prayer and worship events as well as formation and hospitality that aims to make faith relevant to everyday life and draw people into their parish communities. It will also include such activities as kids’ holiday programs, youth events and outreach to school communities.
Bishop Ingham said, “This is an exciting venture for us. Pope Francis is fast becoming a hero of mine. He is challenging us to abandon the complacent attitude that says: ‘We have always done it this way’ and he has implored us to be bold and creative in the task of rethinking the style and methods of evangelisation in our communities.
“And while The Catholic Guy Impact Communities will not replace a parish community, especially its sacramental life, it is indeed revolutionary within the Catholic Church as a model for outreach and reengagement that aims to draw people into life with Jesus Christ and his Church. My hope is that it will be the first of many such initiatives in dioceses throughout Australia and the rest of the Catholic world.”
Mr Downes is known throughout Australia as “The Catholic Guy” thanks to his widely successful television program that screens multiple times weekly on the Australian Christian Channel on the Foxtel network. Mr Downes established TCGIC to reach out to those who do not connect with the Church, to present the Church and the Gospel in ways that are relatable to today’s world.
Whilst having been offered invitations to establish this ministry in a number of key dioceses in Australia, Mr Downes has recognised the great missionary potential of establishing TCGIC in South West Sydney, the growth centre of Australia. Mr Downes said, “It has already been an amazing journey so far with Bishop Ingham in the way everything has fallen into place. It’s only the beginning and we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are a group of people who are passionate about finding ways to reach others and proclaim God so that their lives would be changed by God’s personal love for them. Many people who attend our events are still on their individual faith journeys back to regular church attendance.”
Bishop Ingham and Mr Downes approached the Board of the Campbelltown Catholic Club to partner with them in supporting the initiative for a period of three years and they responded with enthusiasm and generosity, including financial support and use of the Catholic Club venue. Chairman of the Catholic Club, Mr David Olsson said, “The Club is pleased to sponsor such an exciting and innovative initiative. We welcome the Catholic Guy and his team and look forward to a successful and rewarding engagement with the community.”
TCGIC is on schedule to commence its ministry in the Diocese of Wollongong on 8 March 2015.
For more information contact The Catholic Guy Ministries on 1300 734 880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further media information contact:
Daniel Hopper, Diocesan Communications Coordinator
4222 2461 |0418 667 517 | email@example.com