Very Rev Don Richardson
Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral
“The diocese is going through a process of reinvigoration and re-resourcing, and parishes are being reconfigured from a positive pastoral point of view. The Cathedral Parish is at a point where it will benefit from reinvigoration in various ways.
“We need to communicate well with people who come in either as tourists and residents; we need to be reaching out with our message and keep on working on finding new ways to communicate with people especially visitors and people who don’t know what the Catholic Church is all about. As we become a less religious society, an increasing number of people who come to the Cathedral, both overseas visitors and Australian, don’t really know what we are on about.
“Our Parish covers most of the CBD, Haymarket and Woolloomooloo. It is a very diverse area of populations containing every layer from public housing to the super rich, plus the people who work daily in the city. It is not a homogenous parish so trying to stitch it together in a constructive way and meet all the needs of the people in various communities is a challenge.
“We want to be outward looking as well as concentrating on reaching out to our own people. This is not necessarily to make them into our people but to help them understand what the church is and to help people better understand their own culture and their own self.
“No matter what happens people still want to come to Mass, they still want to Baptise their children, they still want to become Catholics and learn about the faith, they want you to visit them when they are sick; and that goes on regardless of the problems in the Church and the various important ceremonies that are held in the Cathedral. Our society is undergoing great change but the Church and the Cathedral’s role to support and assist our people remains as strong as ever.”