Home' Aurora : Aurora May 2013 Contents Networking
for the local Church
BY TRACEY EDSTEIN
Guest speaker Rick McCosker at the inaugural Assembly of
Catholic Professionals gathering.
Business women and men interested in
Catholic life have begun coming together to
get to know each other and the leaders of
the Church in the Newcastle, Maitland and
Hunter regions, according to Development
Manager of the Catholic Diocese of
Maitland-Newcastle, Mark Lees.
The Assembly of Catholic Professionals
(ACP) meets quarterly, over lunch, in a
relaxed setting in Newcastle. There is time
for networking and to listen to, and be
encouraged by, a guest speaker.
While Mark acknowledges that these are
challenging times for the Catholic Church,
he in turn has been encouraged by people's
willingness to own the Church to which they
belong and to take time to support each
The first ACP lunch featured Rick McCosker
as guest speaker. Best known for his
illustrious international cricketing career, Rick
has recently been appointed as Chaplain to
the Port of Newcastle. His address focused
on the role of the lay person within the
"Why am I still a Catholic in the Maitland-
Newcastle Diocese?" asked Rick.
"We all have a role to play because we are
the church. It's the faith and commitment
of my fellow Catholics and the tradition
and mystery of the birth, death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ, that help my
belief that our Church will work through
the current challenges, just as it has for the
last two thousand years, by following the
fundamentals of the Church's teachings.
"I believe in the importance of trust between
the laity and clergy -- it's not 'us and them'
-- we need to be working together to build
the Kingdom. During the Second Vatican
Council, 1962-65, the French Jesuit Cardinal
Henri de Lubac stated that "the Church is a
perpetual construction site" -- how right he
was! With the opportunity to contribute to
the mission, also comes responsibility.
"Visiting Mexico, Pope Benedict said, 'It
is not right that laity should feel treated
as if they hardly count in the Church. It is
particularly important for pastors to ensure
that a spirit of communion reigns among
priests, religious and the lay faithful, and
that sterile divisions, criticism and unhealthy
mistrust are avoided.'
"I look at the question this way -- there
were times in my cricket career when I'd
'lost form' (some sections of the Press
suggested I never had any in the first place!)
and for a time I would forget what it was
like to succeed, to carry out my role, for
the team. It wasn't until I realised I had to
get myself right back to the basics and that
my team mates had faith in me, I could go
forward, remembering what was needed to
"As our church looks to rebuild, I know that
God delights in me, as he does in each
of us, but I'm still very much a work in
ACP membership is open to anyone
who is interested in learning about
and promoting the Catholic Church in
the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
The next luncheon is on Thursday
30 May. To join, please complete the
application form online at
professionals/join-now Contact Mark
Lees (02) 4979 1124 or email acp@
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