OCEANIA/NEW ZEALAND - Wellington archdiocese assigns important role to lay Catholics in pastoral care

Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Wellington (Fides Service) - The Archdiocese of Wellington in New Zealand is harnessing the potential of lay Catholics to help provide adequate and ever better pastoral care. More and more lay people are playing leading roles in posts of responsibility in various activities. Formation of lay Catholics is a priority for a diocese says Ms Joan McFetridge, in charge of the programme for lay formation which offers a path of human, spiritual, cultural, philosophical and theological growth in view of pastoral service.
The Archbishop of Wellington John Dew says lay Catholics can assist priests in all areas of parish pastoral work: leading prayers. In community life and formation. The Archbishop identified “pastoral zones” in which parishes cooperate and priests, religious and laity working together meet the needs of the people of God more fully.
The laity should be a force for evangelisation, called to bear witness to the vitality of the Church in New Zealand becoming examples of vivacity, maturity and capacity for evangelisation. The Church in New Zealand relies heavily on the help of committed lay people to promote respect and support for the family and family values in keeping with recent guidelines issued by the Bishops’ Conference. The NZ Bishops’ Commission for the Laity has always promoted and encouraged the vocation and mission of the laity at the national level, consulting leaders of lay movements, with special attention for the challenges and urgencies of lay mission in new Zealand. (Agenzia Fides 14/3/2006 Righe: 26 Parole: 260)