The purpose of Bishop’s Staff Day is shaped by three I’s – ‘introduction, information and inspiration.’ The three I’s encapsulated the essence of the 2019 Bishop’s Staff Day, as one that served to introduce staff from varying agencies to each other, inform them about the diverse history and work of the Church across the Diocese and inspire them to connect with the message of Jesus.
Over 170 staff registered to take part in this year’s event, making it the largest ever. Staff were grouped into seven teams of 25 people and allocated a geographical region where a number of diocesan ministries are actively engaged including Lochinvar, Singleton, Chisholm, Maitland, Mayfield, Waratah and Cardiff.
“Seven members of the Bishop’s Staff Day Committee worked collectively, energetically and responsibly to bring about a great experience for staff members from across the Curia,” said Teresa Brierley, Director Pastoral Ministries.
“The footprint and impact of the Catholic Church throughout the Diocese is significant-providing spiritual, pastoral, education, social services, shared services, health, welfare, aged care, chaplaincies etc to all. Staff explored the good works offered by almost 50 services who opened their doors and welcomed us with warmth and their stories,” Teresa said.
The devotion by the Committee in bringing together the event was embraced by staff. “Bishop’s Staff Day exceeded my expectations and provided the opportunity for me to meet people from different parts of the Diocese I wouldn’t ordinarily come across in my day-to-day work. Visiting the different facilities was an eye-opening experience, St Nicholas is amazing; the outdoor play area is fantastic- I especially loved the mud pit!” said Kristi from CatholicCare who visited Lochinvar. The Lochinvar program also included a tour of St Joseph’s College, St Patrick’s Primary School, St Nicholas Early Education, St Patrick’s Catholic Church and St Joseph’s Convent and chapel.
Kate, who also works for CatholicCare, had the opportunity to explore ministries across the Maitland region and was suitably impressed saying “the highlight was learning the vast history of our Diocese’s chapels, schools and halls and being provided with the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of these buildings up-close.”
After the morning program was complete, staff came back together and shared stories of their experiences over lunch at the Southern Cross Hall in Hamilton. Bishop Bill addressed staff and thanked them for their participation, before inviting them to take part in a Listening and Dialogue session, followed by a moment of reflection.
After lunch, the seven groups continued their site visits in Hamilton exploring the likes of St Nicholas Early Education Centre, Cathedral House, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Tudor Street Building and Columbarium and Grounds, St Vincent de Paul head office, 984 Hunter Street Shared Services Building and Parry Street and Selma Street buildings.