At its meeting in May 2019, the Bishop’s Advisory Council, together with Bishop Paul Bird, endorsed a process to develop a Vision for the Diocese for now and the coming years. This process included consultation with the people of the Diocese. Bishop Paul offers his thanks to the individuals and groups around the diocese who contributed to the reformulation of the vision through the consultations we have had over the past twelve months. The suggestions and reflections from these people are reflected in the new vision statement.
This process led to the following statement of our diocesan vision:
Diocesan Vision Statement
We are a community of communities from the Murray to the sea.
Inspired by the Gospel and nourished by the Eucharist,
we follow the example of Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
reaching out in joyful and humble service,
caring for all of God’s creation,
growing in love day by day
and looking forward to life with God forever.
Along with the vision statement, the following principles are important as guides to good governance in all areas of our life in our diocesan community:
In living out this vision, all of Christ’s faithful combine their gifts for the good of the whole community. “For the nurturing and constant growth of the People of God, Christ the Lord instituted in His Church a variety of ministries, which work for the good of the whole body. For those ministers who are endowed with sacred power are servants of their brothers and sisters, so that all who are of the People of God, and therefore enjoy a true Christian dignity, can work toward a common goal freely and in an orderly way, and arrive at salvation.” (Vatican II, Constitution on the Church, par 18)
To enable all of God’s people to be co-responsible in fulfilling this vision, governance in parish and diocesan organsiations must include the following elements:
- Participation of all members of the Church
- Dialogue and discernment in the process of decision-making
- Solidarity and Synodality involving the breadth of the diocesan community
- Subsidiarity in fostering local expressions of the Church’s common mission
- Transparency and accountability in stewardship of resources
- Observance of properly established ecclesial, civic and corporate standards of behaviour
- Formation appropriate to responsibilities
- Support to enable effective administration and inclusive participation
The Diocese of Ballarat is one part of the people of God, Christ’s faithful, entrusted to the care of the Bishop.
The Catholic Diocese of Ballarat offers support and encouragement to the many thousands of people who live in the rural and provincial communities across the western part of Victoria from the Murray to the Southern Ocean.
The Diocese of Ballarat, through the work of all its people:
- gathers the people of God in worship through its parishes and within its boundaries;
- gives witness to the teachings of Jesus;
- proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ;
- reflects the sacramentality of all things, especially by the giving and receiving of the Sacraments of our faith;
- catechises the faithful and those new to faith;
- oversees the teaching of children in its schools through the work of the Catholic Education Ballarat;
- serves those in need especially through the diocesan agency Centacare;
- advocates for social justice;
- communicates openly and well with the faithful and the wider community and takes part in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue;
- enables the work of many groups, commissions and agencies connected to the diocese through a common faith in Jesus Christ and commitment to his mission;
- administers the temporal goods of the diocese with care and integrity;
- evangelises and reaches out towards those who are searching for meaning and faith.