By Matthew MacDonald | Melbourne

1: Your apostolate/ministry

For eighteen years I have been involved in formation for marriage and family life, both as a volunteer and in full-time ministry. My work has principally been with young post-secondary adults, young couples and families.

2: Pandemic Impact

Having recently left full-time ministry, personally, my work isn’t impacted as directly as my family life and our engagement in our faith community.

The experience has reinforced to me the need for a well-developed practical plan of life for living as a “Domestic Church.” A faith that is entirely dependent on parish or community life has proven difficult to sustain. We need to be supported by, but not entirely dependent on a parish or lay community.

3: Priority Issues:

  1. Providing families with a plan of life to enable building a sustainable domestic Church including structures of prayer, catechesis, and connection to a like-minded community.
  2. Creating local faith communities that are of sufficient size that there can be an evangelically effective critical mass.

4: Plenary proposal

That bishops be empowered (in cannon law where necessary) to reshape the pastoral boundaries (parishes) of their diocese to meet the present evangelical needs. (probably need to think more about this)

5: Signs of Hope

That the present pandemic and the responses are a sign of our Heavenly Father at work – pruning his vine. We can be hopeful that with faithfully perseverance, we will be a more fruitful Church in due season.

Matthew MacDonald