More information is on the Looking Forward page found here
Diocesan pastoral planning is planning which particularly relates to the practical aspects of sustaining and strengthening the structures and organisation of the diocese in order to care for the people of God and to enable them to express and be nurtured by Christian faith.
Ballarat Diocese is undertaking Pastoral Planning in an ongoing way using a number of planning strategies. A key strategy involves the sharing of resources between parishes.
In order to do this Ministry Districts are being developed and established.
The following definitions underpin our planning work:
A Ministry District is where two or more parishes within a particular geographical area share the one Parish Priest and so collaborate to further the mission of the Church. It also applies to two or more parishes within a particular geographical area where both/all priests and parishioners have clearly established a sharing of resources and interconnectedness to further the mission of the Church.
A Parish is an organisational division within a diocese, organised in order to offer pastoral care and sacramental services to the faithful and to serve and evangelise the community. The Parish is established by and operates within Canon Law. “Parishes are not ends in themselves but the structural means whereby the work of the church is carried out.”
A Parish with a Supervised Community Leadership is a Parish with a Supervising Priest that is non-resident. Operating in accordance with CIC Canon 517§2, the Parish has one or several Visiting Priests in addition to the Supervising Priest, and a lay Moderator (or a Parish Leader or Deacon). Other leadership and ministry tasks are undertaken by parishioners, volunteer co-ordinators or employees.
A Church Community is a community of the faithful centred at a particular church building. This community comes together on a regular basis for celebrations including the Sunday Eucharist or a Sunday Assembly of the Word and Communion. The church community operates within a Parish and is supervised by the Parish and has no separate administrative or Diocesan status. There may be several or many church communities within a Parish including the Parish’s central church.
A Faith Community is a community of the faithful which gathers in person or through structured electronic communication. These communities may or may not be associated with a Parish or with a church community but are within the Diocese.
The Catholic School Community is centred at the school and, comprising students, staff and parents, the school community is a particular faith community (see above). Depending on the particular situation, there will be varied levels of connection between a school community and the parish it is part of or associated with.
Ministry Districts already operating are:
Ballarat (Cathedral, Redan, Sebastopol, Beaufort, Linton)
Sunraysia (Mildura, Merbein, Red Cliffs)
Western (Casterton, Coleraine, Edenhope, Harrow)