This morning’s session of the priests’ seminar was an open forum introduced by the relatively new Archbishop Thomas Collins (TC, as he is known in cyberspace!). The Archbishop Collins spent the first part of the morning offering various bit of information on topics of interest in the archdiocese including a new video on Catholic Cemeteries produced by Salt+Light TV. He also reflected out-loud on some of the issues that we need to look at as a catholic community.
The second part of the morning was spent answering questions which priests had left in a basket. It was quite enlightening and entertaining. The archbishop has a great sense of humour! We also had some table discussion which led to some more feedback to the archbishop on various topics.
I was struck by two important things at this morning’s sessions. First of all, the archbishop once again took the time to express his appreciation and admiration to the priests. He said Thank You! It’s a small gesture but means so much to the guys. The other thing was that the archbishop spoke for the first time, that I have heard, about the need to develop a pastoral plan for the archdiocese. It’s certainly needed. With his interest in the “scattered” as well as the “gathered” of the church and his fondness for the research of Reginald Bibby, I think we may have some interesting days ahead. It is clear that he would like to shape the Pastoral Centre and the whole archdiocese for mission in the world.
Archbishop Collins was quite clear how much he enjoys his ministry and how fulfilled he is as a priest and as a bishop. There is no better advertising for vocations than that. As he said earlier today… vocations promotion comes best from people not paper!