Loading Events

« All Events

Ablaze – Parish Renewal Conference

November 10 @ 9:00 am - November 11 @ 8:00 pm

Pope Francis has challenged the church to go out to the margins and the crossroads and share the good news of Jesus to all, with joy.

He has asked parishes to grow and become ‘evangelising communities’ that “preach the gospel to all…without hesitation, reluctance or fear”.

 

The purpose of Ablaze is to provide tools and resources to help participants and parishes:

– Inflame the hearts of those who already come
– Learn how to reach those in your community who no longer come
– Reach out to those who have never come

 

Be inspired by our keynote speakers, workshops and discussions with others as we learn fresh ways in which our parishes can be missionary communities.

There are only 200 places available so please register early to secure your place.

For more info contact pastoral©chch.catholic.org.nz or phone 03 366 9869

 

 

Message from the organisers…

Welcome to the Ablaze Parish Renewal Conference website.

On behalf of our Diocesan Administrator, Fr Rick Loughnan, and the team planning the Ablaze event I extend a warm greeting to you and hope you will be able to join us for this two day conference.

We are excited about Ablaze.

A number of us attended the Proclaim Conference in Australia in 2016.  Upon our return we wanted to organise an event that would encourage the leadership in our parishes in the area of mission.

We have secured excellent speakers for our keynotes, including Bishop Nicholas Hudson (Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Westminster, England) and a wide variety of workshop topics and speakers.

Our focus is clear.  We want to provide tools and resources to help participants and parishes:

  • Inflame the hearts of those who already come
  • Learn how to reach those in the community who no longer come
  • Reach out to those who have never come

Join us and be inspired over these two days.

Mike Stopforth
Project Team Leader


Keynote speakers:

Bishop Nicholas Hudson is the Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Westminster. He has responsibility for the pastoral care of Central and East London and he also has oversight of the Agency for Evangelisation. Youth, and Justice and Peace.

Daniel Ang is the Director of Evangelisation, Diocese of Broken Bay. He is Chair of the National Pastoral Planner Network, a member of the Australian Catholic Council for Pastoral Research and was Director of Pastoral Planning for the Diocese of Parramatta. He is a married layman with two children.

Jan Heath has been involved in the work of evangelisation for 27 years. She is an active member of Our Lady of the Way parish in Brisbane. She has served on 25 short term mission trips to 30 countries mainly on the continent of Africa. Some of her evangelisation initiatives include the Catholics Returning Home program, Little Rock Scripture Studies, the annual Bible Institute and the Evangelisation Resources Down Under (ERDU) ministry.


 

Our venue for Ablaze is the St Mary’s Precinct.

This includes St Mary’s Church and City Church (across the road from St Mary’s – see the map below)

Registration and our keynote addresses will be held at City Church.

City Church – across the road from St Mary’s
St Mary’s Church

Bishop Nicholas Hudson is the Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Westminster. He has responsibility for the pastoral care of Central and East London and he also has oversight of the Agency for Evangelisation. Youth, and Justice and Peace.

Daniel Ang is the Director of Evangelisation, Diocese of Broken Bay. He is Chair of the National Pastoral Planner Network, a member of the Australian Catholic Council for Pastoral Research and was Director of Pastoral Planning for the Diocese of Parramatta. He is a married layman with two children.

Jan Heath has been involved in the work of evangelisation for 27 years. She is an active member of Our Lady of the Way parish in Brisbane. She has served on 25 short term mission trips to 30 countries mainly on the continent of Africa. Some of her evangelisation initiatives include the Catholics Returning Home program, Little Rock Scripture Studies, the annual Bible Institute and the Evangelisation Resources Down Under (ERDU) ministry.

Ablaze will begin on Friday morning at 9.00am and run through to Friday evening

Saturday will run from 9.00am and conclude with a conference dinner (included in the registration fee).  The dinner will begin at 6.30pm

The timetable below may change

Friday 10th November

9:00 - 9:30amRegistration
9:45amWelcome and Opening Prayer
10:20amKeynote 1
11:10amMorning tea
12:05pmMass
1:00pmLunch
2:15pmWorkshop Round 1
3:30pmAfternoon Tea
4:10pmWorkshop Round 2
5:25pmBreak
5:45pmKeynote 2
6:30pmEvening Prayer / Wrap up the day
7:00pmParish Dinners out (not covered in registration fee)

Saturday 11th November

8:30amInformation Desk Open
9:00amWelcome and Morning Prayer
9:30amKey note 3
10:30amMorning Tea
11:00amWorkshop Round 3
12:15pmLunch
1:45pmWorkshop Round 4
3:00pmAfternoon Tea
3:30pmPanel Discussion
4:15pmFree Time
5:00pmVigil Mass
6:30pmConference Dinner
7:45pmConcluding Remarks
8:15pmCake, Coffee and conference ends
There will be over 20 workshops being offered at Ablaze.  This will cover a wide range of topics related to parish renewal.

 

Workshop round 1: Friday 2:15pm – 3:30pm

Becoming a Confident Catholic: Tips and Principals for sharing your faith with others - especially family members! - Jan Heath
Christ calls us to spread the good news of the Gospel. But if we’re honest, most of us find it difficult to share our faith with others, especially with our family members, for who we pray that they will come home. This workshop should give us some of the help we need to become more effective evangelisers as we go about our everyday lives.
Making Sense of Parish Life in 2017: How Did We Get Here and to Whom Shall We Go? - Daniel Ang
This workshop will address our self-understanding as parishes in the midst of change, with the aim of identifying those dynamics within our communities that can promote or otherwise impede the mission to make disciples.  It will acknowledge the globalised culture in which we now live, an increase in religious disaffiliation, and the diversity among Catholics as relevant to our contemporary outreach in faith. It will name those pastoral practices in the parish that remain largely unchanged and suggest as a way forwards renewed clarity on our purpose and personal dialogue and accompaniment prior to catechesis.  This session will provide time to consider our own parish cultures and those first steps that can be taken toward a renewed future.
Inflaming the hearts of those who already come: Strategies and Ideas from growing parishes - Fr Michael Geilan
The first area of Evangelisation is ‘inflaming the hearts of those who already are part of the parish, and helping them grow spiritually. Why is this? It is argued by some that a number of regular Mass attendees have not encountered Jesus Christ. Inflaming people’s hearts leads them to a deeper lobe of God and a renewed desire to reach out and share this love with others. This workshop looks at what a parish can do to inflame the hearts of those who already come and help them encounter Jesus Christ. Using the example of Mount Mangunui, you will learn practical steps you can take and the effect that this has on
Parish Mission Trips and pilgrimages: Inflaming hearts for preaching the gospel - Fr John Adams

Mission Trips and pilgrimages are an important factor in helping ‘everyday’ Catholics become more involved in the mission of the church. Research shows that “doing religion” with people can be more effective than “talking about religion”. Using the experience of the Papanui Parish, In this workshop you will learn more about how pilgrimages and mission experiences can effectively evangelise, what goes on during mission trips and pilgrimages, hear from those who have been on one and the effect on their faith, how it can inflame the hearts of those who attend and how to organise one for your parish.

The parish school: new directions for the future - Clare Bell
The New Zealand Catholic Bishops issued an important document about Catholic Schools and said that the “encounter with Jesus” is at the “centre of Catholic education” and thus “places our schools at the heart of every parish’s evangelising mission”. Parents want their children educated in the Catholic System – how then can the parish community assist the school in helping children encounter Jesus Christ? The Catholic Parish of Mairehau have taken a fresh approach by employing a pastoral worker to work directly in the school, creating a strong link between parish and school. Already in a short time, this is bearing fruit. Come along to this workshop to learn more about it and how your parish community can better assist your parish school.

Workshop round 2: Friday 4:10pm – 5:25pm

Creating Evangelisation Teams in your Parish - Bishop Nicholas Hudson
Evangelising the Unchurched’; ‘Reaching out to Non-churchgoing Catholics’; ‘Evangelising Young People’; ‘Becoming a Poor Church for the Poor’: whatever aspect of Evangelisation we wish to embark upon, it requires conscientious discernment. It requires a team, a Parish Evangelisation Team, to coordinate such an initiative. “The Gospels teach us,” says Bishop Nicholas, “that discipleship requires us to move from asking ‘Who is my neighbour?’ and ‘What more can I do?’ to considering ‘Who are my partners?’ and ‘How do we organise ourselves for mission?’” In this workshop, he will lead a process to guide parishes to start organising themselves for mission.

The workshop will consider many aspects of forming a Parish Evangelisation Team: Who should be involved in deciding membership of a Team? How do we approach them? What kind of diversity is legitimate and welcome? What qualifications are required? What are its terms of reference? From there he will move on to consider how to develop the Team: How do we deepen the Team’s prayer-life? What training can be given? How does the Team discern new Evangelising priorities? Does a chosen initiative require specific formation? How does the Team communicate with the Parish? Pope Francis calls us, in the Joy of the Gospel, to make our parishes “completely mission-oriented” (EG 28). Forming Evangelisation Teams is where we start.

Renewing Sacramental Preparation: Engaging Our Parents and Children in the Life of Faith - Dean Mischewski
Every year parishes prepare children and parents for the Sacraments of Initiation. These opportunities offer the parish a graced and important moment to once more bring the good news of Jesus Christ to these people and further invite them in the life of faith. How can we take better advantages of these moments? How can we help all the participants have a deep encounter with Jesus Christ? How can Christ and the story of faith be presented in a relevant, meaningful and engaging way? How can spiritual nourishment and growth be fostered? How can further participation in parish life be encouraged well beyond the conferral of the first sacraments? This workshop will look at how we are doing and explore practical and creative ways to further reach out and bring Christ to these people. Examples will be used from local parishes as well as suggestions from effective and fruitful programmes from overseas.
Evangelising in the Digital Age: The effective use of Social Media and Parish Communications - David Mullin
Proclaiming the Gospel with Joy calls for effective and bold parish communications. However in this rapidly increasing technological age, it can seem too difficult especially for small parishes. In this workshop you will learn some simple but creative ways in which parish communities can make the most of websites, social media, including Facebook, and other emerging forms of communication. This will be in addition to strengthening well established forms of parish communication including the parish bulletin. Examples will be given from local parishes as well as learning how to tap into the many resources that are already available, particularly from the Catholic Enquiry Centre. Key questions to be answered include:

  • Where to start?
  • How can small parishes participate?
  • Simple templates
  • Who manages it and how to keep feeding it?
Evangelising through our sacred music - Sacred Arts Team (Don Whelan, Ken Joblin)
Workshop outline to be confirmed.
The Parish as an Oasis of Mercy - TBC
Pope Francis has said that the church grows by attraction; that wherever there are Christians, people should find an oasis of Mercy. Bishop Robert Barron says that this is because when “the Christian life is embraced fully and radically, its goodness stands out to the world”.

This workshop will look at the importance of the radical witness of goodness and charitable outreach for evangelisation.  Within our witness and charitable work how to we build bridges and invite people into the life of faith and the life of the church?

Our communities are becoming more and more multi-cultural and diverse every year. How does our parish identify, engage with, and reach, to new migrants and different cultures? What practical steps can a parish take to recognise those new people in our local communities

Workshop round 3: Saturday 11:00am – 12:15pm

Creating Evangelisation Teams in your Parish - Bishop Nicholas Hudson
Evangelising the Unchurched’; ‘Reaching out to Non-churchgoing Catholics’; ‘Evangelising Young People’; ‘Becoming a Poor Church for the Poor’: whatever aspect of Evangelisation we wish to embark upon, it requires conscientious discernment. It requires a team, a Parish Evangelisation Team, to coordinate such an initiative. “The Gospels teach us,” says Bishop Nicholas, “that discipleship requires us to move from asking ‘Who is my neighbour?’ and ‘What more can I do?’ to considering ‘Who are my partners?’ and ‘How do we organise ourselves for mission?’” In this workshop, he will lead a process to guide parishes to start organising themselves for mission.

The workshop will consider many aspects of forming a Parish Evangelisation Team: Who should be involved in deciding membership of a Team? How do we approach them? What kind of diversity is legitimate and welcome? What qualifications are required? What are its terms of reference? From there he will move on to consider how to develop the Team: How do we deepen the Team’s prayer-life? What training can be given? How does the Team discern new Evangelising priorities? Does a chosen initiative require specific formation? How does the Team communicate with the Parish? Pope Francis calls us, in the Joy of the Gospel, to make our parishes “completely mission-oriented” (EG 28). Forming Evangelisation Teams is where we start.

The Role of the Parish in Welcoming and Helping Non-Practicing and Inactive Catholics Come Home - Jan Heath and Fr Paul Shannahan
We know that a large majority of Catholics are not practicing their faith. Yet these people generally still call themselves Catholic and reconnect at various times with the parish such as Christmas, Easter, Weddings and Funerals. How can we reach out to this group and invite to come back, to come home, or even to come and see. This workshop is for parishes wanting to reach out to this group of people. Come and find out some practical steps you can take to reach this group of people.
Proclaiming the Gospel to a New Generation: Growing Youth and Young Adult Outreach in the Parish - Catholic Youth Team
Every parish dreams of being a place where young people attend regularly, get involved and participate, fall in love with Jesus Christ, and grow as his disciple. How do we create this evangelising environment for young people and ensure that it becomes an ongoing part of our Parish life?

Youth and Young Adult ministry can be difficult to begin and sustain, but can also provide abundant fruit in the life of young people and the wider parish. Whether you already have an existing youth and young ministry, or are looking to begin, this workshop will help with some of the tools to build a ministry which is sustainable and fruitful. In this workshop you will learn such things as:

  • How to start a ministry and how to think through some of the important initial decisions.
  • How to ground young people and the youth ministry in the life of the parish community.
  • How to implement an intentional, sustainable, long-term structure for young people

Practical advice, ideas and strategies for planning a youth ministry programme.

Hospitality and Welcome: A Foundational Element of the evangelising mission of the parish - Sue and Wayne McTague
The way that a parish welcomes its people and fosters a sense of belonging is crucial to the evangelising mission of the parish. This workshop will look at why it is important and how can we do it better. In particular the workshop will look at:

  • Principals from the book Rebuilt.
  • The experience of the Catholic Parish of Mairehau
  • A chance to assess your own current welcome and hospitality.
Sacred Beauty - Damien Walker
From its very beginnings the Catholic Church has held in the highest regard, the gift of Sacred Art. From St. Luke the Evangelist, the first Catholic artist, who painted a portrait of the Virgin Mary, whose face he had actually seen with his own eyes, to today, art has been used as a form of teaching the faith. Converts often tell how the rich artistic legacy of Catholicism—the magnificent cathedrals, the masterpieces of painting and sculpture, helped draw them to the Church, convincing them that only the highest truth and goodness could inspire such beauty.
In this modern era so saturated with image, Damien Walker, founder of The Studio of Saint Philomena will share both from church tradition and his own experience as founder of The Studio, how Sacred Art has been, and is used today as an incredibly accessible form of evangelisation. He will unpack what the early Church Fathers described as the purpose of religious images being anagogic (literally meaning “leading one upward”) and will, through example of both historical and his own works, identify how Sacred Art is able to raise the soul and mind of the beholder to the incorruptible and eternal realm of the Spirit. Come along to this workshop to rediscover how beautiful Catholic art tells the story of our Faith.

Damien Walker is the founder of the Studio of Saint Philomena which specializes in the restoration and creation of sacred art. Over the past few years The Studio has worked extensively in Canterbury parishes to help restore and replace heritage artworks damaged in the Christchurch earthquakes.

Workshop round 4: Saturday 1:45pm – 3:00pm

Parish Practices for Building a Culture of Discipleship - Daniel Ang
Daniel will share practical steps that can assist in developing a culture of discipleship in the local parish. Attentive of the need to develop ownership of the parish mission among all the baptised, it will address the role of the parish pastoral council, the parish staff or pastoral team in this effort, and the wider parish community while acknowledging the difficulties that can be involved in moving the community from one approach to evangelisation to another. Participants will also be offered a parish planning template that can assist facilitate the implementation of your local parish vision and priorities, calling people to action in a way that steps beyond maintenance or self-preservation. Time will be provided for questions and responses, recognising it is together that we have the best view of things.
The role of retreats in the life of a parish - Matt O’Connell
One author in America comments that parish retreats have been one of the most important things a parish can do to a) inflame the hearts of those who come and b) get people inspired to reach out to others. Retreats come in all sorts of styles from the old style parish mission, weekend retreats, retreats in daily life, to half day retreats. In this workshop you will learn why retreats are so important and how to run one for your parish as well as hearing from a number of speakers who have run retreats in parishes in the Diocese.
Encountering Jesus Christ in and through the Liturgy: living as a citizen of the Kingdom - Marianne Daly
The Liturgy is the event in which the encounter between God and Christ becomes available to us, for our participation, to be enfolded into that relationship. How can the faithful be formed and engaged at a deeper level to celebrate the liturgy as an encounter with Jesus Christ, for that is the nature of evangelization. Reflecting on the liturgy, we will look at ways in which we can personally enter more deeply into the liturgy as an encounter with Christ Jesus not only for ourselves, but for the salvation of the entire human family.
The Importance of Prayer and the Holy Spirit for the Evangelising Parish - Fr Allan Jones
Saint Pope John Paul II, at the start of the new millennium, set out key pastoral priorities for the new evangelisation. One of the priorities was that parishes “must become genuine “schools” of prayer”. This is because, as Fr Jacques Philippe states, it is prayer that will give birth to all renewal in society and the world” and thus “the most useful thing the church can do today is to give people a thirst for prayer and teach them how to pray”. Prayer is the crucial first step in parishes becoming evangelising and missionary communities. How parishes can educate people in prayer? How can the parish foster an atmosphere of prayer that is able to find out what the Lord wants for the parish? In 1975 Pope Paul VI said that the Principal agent of Evangelisation is the Holy Spirit. What did he mean by this and how can you to help people in your parish receive the power of the Holy Spirit and thus be transformed into courageous witnesses of the Gospel.
Justice for all: the role of the parish in the transformation of the World - Sr Kath Rushton
An important part of the evangelising mission of the church is participation in the transformation of the world that God so loves. This ‘participation’ includes “action on behalf of justice.” How does your parish community “act on behalf of justice?” How does it participate in the transformation of the world? How does it engage and respond to the great social questions of our time? Come to this workshop and find out more.
Making disciples of our children: the role of experience - Fr Antione Thomas
In the world we live in today, it is important to give young people an experience of the faith rather than just teaching them about the faith. Fr Antoine Thomas is a world renowned expert in leading children and young people to a deeper love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament through Adoration. Come to this workshop and find out new ways of leading children to ‘experience’ God’s amazing love and thus helping them become disciples of Christ?
For those traveling from out of town we want to provide information for you for accommodation options.  Please note that Ablaze is the week before Show Weekend so it is recommended you book accommodation early.

Below are some of the options available:

  • Motels in close proximity to our venue.  All are walking distance from our venue except for Christchurch Park which is where we will be having the final dinner on Saturday night.

All Stars Inn on Bealey263 Bealey Ave – https://allstarsinn.com/

Bella Vista – 193 Bealey Ave – http://www.bellavista.co.nz/our-motels/christchurch

Belmont Motor Inn – 172 Bealey Ave – http://www.belmontmotorinn.co.nz/

Christchurch Park – 250 Westminster Street – http://www.christchurchpark.co.nz/

 

  • Catholic Bed and Breakfast options ($30 per night for one person or $35 per night for two people).  Please contact us if you would like information about this.
  • Billeting – we may be able to organise billets for those from the diocese who are out of Christchurch.  Please contact us if you would like to explore this possibility.

To ensure we provide parishes the optimum opportunity to have their key leaders attend, there is a two stage registration process.

Parishes will be able to register their key leaders first before registrations will then open to general registration for anyone who wants to attend.

Parishes will be able to register people at the start of August.  General registrations will open 9 September.

Tickets

Details

Start:
November 10 @ 9:00 am
End:
November 11 @ 8:00 pm

Organizer

Mike Stopforth, Director, Bishop’s Pastoral Office
Phone:
03 366 9869
Email:
mstopforth@chch.catholic.org.nz

Venue

City Church
344 Manchester Street
Christchurch, New Zealand
+ Google Map