In recent months the Diocese of Westminster has focused on three key priorities for the future: enhancing parish life, supporting the ministry of priests, and serving the neediest in our society.
To take forward these priorities in the diocese, a Caritas Advisory Board and a Year of Faith Project Board have been established.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols said:
' A Caritas Advisory Board has now been established to take forward the continuing development of a Caritas framework within the diocese, aimed at supporting and enhancing our social outreach. It replaces the Diocesan Pastoral Board, and therefore covers the various diocesan expressions of commitment to the work of charity (such as the St Joseph's Pastoral Centre) but puts greater emphasis on directly supporting parishes. It will work closely with the St John Southworth Fund. The post of Director for this emerging Diocesan Caritas is now being advertised.'
'The second development concerns the Diocese of Westminster’s response to the Year of Faith established by Pope Benedict to run from October 2012 to November 2013. In broad terms the Year of Faith will refresh and enhance our understanding of the faith and our teaching of it, in the perspectives of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.'
'The preparatory work for this Year of Faith will bring together, in a clear and structured cooperation, the resources of the Agency for Evangelisation, the Youth Services and responsibilities for Marriage and Family Life. It will keep the support of parish as its first priority. The work will be overseen by a Year of Faith Project Board, chaired by Bishop John Arnold.'
'One focus for this project will be on the role of the priest as teacher of the faith. Another focus will be on refreshing the role of the catechist. A third focus will be on the role of parents and family members in handing on the faith to their children.'
'The work on the Year of Faith is just beginning and much more will be put forward shortly. But my hope is that a clear, overall direction will be set, with good resources available to parishes, including a more structured approach to Sunday preaching. Together we may enter fully into the Holy Father’s initiative in the Year of Faith.'
'All this involves changes in our use of central diocesan resources and will be cost neutral. My aim is to give those resources clear focus on our three main priorities and use them in a more coordinated fashion for the support of parish life. I thank those who are cooperating in these changes, especially Fr Michael O’Boy whose work with the Agency for Evangelisation has achieved so much and is the firm foundation for these development. Fr Michael retains oversight of youth work.'