Message from Fr Andrew Doohan

One of the blessings I have experienced since my appointment as Vicar-General has been the opportunity to visit many parts of the Diocese, some of which I had not had the opportunity to visit before.

Time and time again during those visits, I was humbled to see the manifold ways that so many good people of faith undertake to do so many things in support of the mission of the church.

In this edition of the Year in Review, you will find a plethora of information about many aspects of those activities, particularly those undertaken at a diocesan level. These activities are a significant part of the public face of the church in Maitland-Newcastle, and it is good that we compile all that information in one easily accessible format.

While it is good to read about all the things the church does, particularly the larger public activities, it’s also important to remember the “why” of those activities.

The reason behind all those activities is a simple one: the church, as the living embodiment of Jesus, cannot do anything else but undertake these activities. We, the church, do them because we are Catholic, and that is what Catholics do. It is as simple — and as complex —as that.

We should also remember that the activities reported in this Year in Review presentation are by no means the only activities the church undertakes. Many of the activities of the church take place at a parish and individual levels; some such activities we will never know. While this document does not capture those activities, it is important to remember that they do take place.

The church in Maitland-Newcastle is not just the total of the activities herein; there is much, much more done in the name of the church than can ever be captured in a document such as this.

And the church in Maitland-Newcastle is not just constituted by those things we do as church. It is human beings who constitute the church, gathered together by the Holy Spirit, and empowered to go out into the world. And at the very heart of all of that, of everything that we are and do, is the person of Jesus Christ.

Fr Andrew Doohan

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