Ministry of Adult Faith Formation
Sr Maureen Salmon
For most of the last twenty years I have been involved in the ministry of adult faith formation. This has taken the form of being a resource person in the pastoral region of the Upper Hunter; being the Coordinator of the Tenison Woods Education Centre (TWEC) in Lochinvar and being on the planning committee for the Rural Schools of Faith Leadership, an initiative of the Conference of Josephite Leaders.
The pastoral role in the Upper Hunter involved assisting the parishes of Muswellbrook, Scone, Murrurundi, Denman and Merriwa to take responsibility for the life and mission of their communities in the absence of a resident parish priest in three of the communities. It was a joy and privilege to be able to assist and encourage the many wonderful people taking on leadership roles in their local parishes.
More recently I have been involved in the coordination of the Tenison Woods Education Centre which has as its mission to provide opportunities and resources for people to deepen their faith through formational experiences offered at the Centre and in local communities. TWEC has offered a systematic program called the Christian Formation Course (CFC) with units in Scripture, Spirituality, Church History, Sacraments and Liturgy. Seventeen people who completed the latest CFC in July this year celebrated their achievements in a ceremony attended by Bishop Bill and many of their friends and families.
My role as TWEC coordinator will be coming to an end in the foreseeable future as the responsibility for the adult faith formation ministry will be passing from the Sisters of St Joseph of Lochinvar to the Adult Formation Office of our Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. I am sure the ministry will be in good hands.
I will continue to be involved in adult faith formation through my involvement in the Planning Committee for the Rural Schools of Faith Leadership which is a ministry close to my heart. The purpose of the Rural Schools which have been offered since 2010 is to provide opportunities for women living in remote communities to develop their gifts and leadership skills. Often they are the ones keeping parishes and the wider communities alive. The Schools have been a great success in bringing people together, gaining confidence in their own abilities as well as deepening their understanding of their faith.
In 2017 the Rural School will be in Forbes in the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese, the most remote diocese of the state. I am looking forward to meeting another group of wonderful country women.