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BBI Hosts Inaugural Seminar Series on Church Governance and Leadership

9 September 2015 | General Interest

Over the month of August 2015, The Broken Bay Institute held its inaugural Australia-wide seminar series on Church governance and leadership with special guest speaker Fr Francis Morrisey OMI.

Described by The Catholic Leader as “North America’s most respected canon lawyer”, the Emeritus Professor from the prestigious Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada travelled with BBI to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to deliver seminars with leading Church canonists, theologians and practitioners from around Australia.

The events were tailored to significant groups in the Catholic community and seminars across the country were well-attended by bishops, clergy, religious and lay alike. As well as days addressing broad governance themed, whole-day seminars were dedicated to Bishops, Vicars General, Episcopal Vicars and Chancellors; Financial Administrators and Business Managers; and Catholic education leaders and Parish Priests.

Addressing the objective of the series, Greg Baynie, Program Manager of Church Governance and Leadership at The Broken Bay Institute said “Church governance and canon law, like theology, share a fundamental concern for the life of Christ in the world.”

With the modern day establishment of lay leaders in many parts of the Church, this professional development program provided vital formation and education in the important areas of Church governance, leadership and canon law, for current and emerging leaders.

“The Church requires ordinary rules that regulate its activity, like all of human society. Theology alone helps us to understand the nature and structure of the Church. Governance, when considered alongside theology, helps us to formulate rules for the actions of the Church” Mr Baynie said.

Mr Baynie said that the highlight of the series was “the physical convergence as one body of many governors and leaders, from across the breadth of the Church – Dioceses, Religious Institutes, Parishes, Catholic Education, Catholic Social Services.

“Such breadth ensured an extraordinarily rich and sacred yet practical conversation was held, that sought a contemporary understanding of the ways in which effective Church governance and leadership can promote the mission of Christ in the world today.”

The Broken Bay Institute will again host the Church governance and leadership seminar series in 2016. Seminar dates will be 22 to 26 August in Sydney and 29 August to 2 September in Brisbane. Speakers will include an array of religious and lay experts in the fields of canon law, Church governance and leadership.

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