- Holiness - Communio - Collaboration - Mission
Four principles, the foundation of our life as Church, are at the heart of the pastoral vision for the Diocese of Christchurch: Holiness, Communio, Collaboration and Mission.
Jesus' desire is for us to participate in the very life and love of God- to grow in holiness. He calls all the members of His Church to be witnesses to His life and love and to proclaim the Good News of God's kingdom.
At the very heart of all that we do, of all the ways we live as a Diocesan family, is this call to spread the Gospel.
The Sacraments of Christ and the Church enable us to share in the life of God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. By Baptism and Confirmation we are united with Christ and one another in His body, the Church. Through the Eucharist- the centre of our life as Church - we give God fitting worship. We recall and renew our communion in Christ.
These Sacraments bring us to holiness. They call us to be witnesses and to be ministers of Christ's saving work.
The Spirit of Jesus sends us into the communities where we live - one people committed to love and serve until Christ comes again:
- A prophetic people - proclaiming the Gospel;
- A priestly people - celebrating the worship that is due to God;
-A kingly people - serving as Christ did.
This service finds different expressions. Christ's faithful- bishops, priests, religious and laity- live out Christ's mission in distinct ways. Together, all collaborate to build up the one kingdom of God .
Our forebears in faith set out upon the vast ocean and brought to this land our Catholic faith. In the same spirit, we are called to be missionary. While remaining faithful to the Apostolic Tradition of the Church, together, we learn to live the Gospel in a new and different age. Excited by the future, as Christ's instruments, we are adaptable and open to change.
We, the Diocese of Christchurch - bishops, priests, religious and laity- hear this call anew.
Our present situation gives us a wonderful opportunity for personal conversion and renewal as we explore and implement new pastoral plans and approaches. This journey of faith that we are called to make is not one that we make alone. We find hope in the words of Jesus:
I am with you always; yes, to the end of time. (Matthew 28:20).
The mission is His. We share in His mission.
Reflecting on the Vision
Evangelising is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelise, that is to say in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ's sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious resurrection.
- (Pope Paul VI- Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14)
Christ, the one mediator, established and ceaselessly sustains here on earth His holy Church, the community of faith, hope, and charity, as a visible structure. Through her He communicates truth and grace to all.
- (Second Vatican Council- Lumen Gentium, 8)
The Eucharist is the heart and summit of the Church's life. In communion we receive the Body of Christ, and Christ in turn makes us His body. St Augustine writes beautifully: ˙You hear the words 'The Body of Christ' and respond 'Amen'. Be then a member of the Body of Christ that your Amen may be true.
- (Looking To Our Future, page 4)
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God.
- (1 Peter 2:9)
All pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness.
- (Pope John Paul II- Novo Millennio Ineunte, 30)
˙Put out into the deep! These words ring out for us today, and they invite us to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the future with confidence: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8).
- (Pope John Paul II- Novo Millennio Ineunte, 1)
What light do the above passages from Church documents and Scripture throw on our call as a Diocese to holiness, communio, collaboration and mission?