The Parish and Pastoral Ministry in
a New Environment

crosslisted as CT2012C/3012C and DA2012C/3012C

Rev. Dr Brendan Reed
Not offered in 2020

This unit engages learners in theological and empirical reflection on Catholic parish identity and mission in Australia today. A survey of demographic and cultural trends in Australia (and beyond) will assist in identifying the factors affecting the practice of the faith and the challenges facing those in pastoral ministry. Key insights from Vatican II’s theology of the Church and its mission in relation with the world will be applied in developing an intentional pastoral approach that is grounded in tradition and culturally plausible. The Searching for Parish Engagement (SPES) model will be used to encourage critical reflection and evaluation of a range of pastoral initiatives that respond to the current context. 


CT1100C or equivalent


mixed mode: four days face-to-face; plus online learning: 12-hours equivalent


second level
  • one 500-word report on pre-reading 20%
  • one 1,000-word directed reflection portfolio 30%
  • one 2,500-word major essay 50%
second level
  • one 1,000-word report on pre-reading 20%
  • one 1,500-word directed reflection portfolio 30%
  • one 2,500-word major essay 50%


  • Dixon, Robert E. The Catholic Community in Australia. Edited by Phillip J. Hughes. Australia’s Religious Communities. Adelaide: Openbook Publishers, 2005.
  • Dulles, Avery R. Models of the Church. Expanded ed. New York: Image Books, 2002.
  • Dumais, Marcel. After Emmaus: Biblical Models for the New Evangelization. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2014.
  • Ganin, Carole, ed. Shaping Catholic Parishes: Pastoral Leaders in the 21st Century. Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership Project. Chicago: Loyola Press, 2008.
  • Mallon, James. Divine Renovation: From a Maintenance to a Missional Parish. Mulgrave: Garratt, 2014.
  • McEvoy, James G. Leaving Christendom for Good: Church-World Dialogue in a Secular Age. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014.
  • O’Collins, Gerald, and Mario Farrugia. Catholicism: The Story of Catholic Christianity. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Reed, Brendan. Engaging with the Hopes of Parishes: A Systematic, Empirical and Practical Search for a Parish Engagement Scale (SPES). Christian Religious Education and School Identity 2. Zurich: LIT Verlag, 2018.
  • Simon, William E. Great Catholic Parishes: How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria, 2016.