Letter from the Archbishop of Brisbane
In recent years, we have seen deep and lasting change in the Church and society. The demographics
of the Church here in the Archdiocese of Brisbane, particularly our schools and colleges, are a
microcosm of these changing times. Often we find ourselves with structures and strategies, which are
a response to the facts on the ground, twenty or fifty years ago. They may have worked brilliantly
then but perhaps not now when the facts on the ground are different. Planning for the present time
and future of the Church in all its ministries must be not only a response to the facts on the ground,
but also a response to the grace of the moment.
It is very good, therefore, that the Brisbane Catholic Education office has read the signs of the times
and taken the complex decision to review and recreate the Religious Education curriculum for all
schools and colleges within our Archdiocese. This has been a strategic response following a thorough
examination of the “the facts on the ground” while recognising that this work is the work of the Spirit
who breathes life into all that we do.
An inclusive, excellent Religious Education is a right of every student entrusted to our care. Religious
Education is this Archdiocese is understood to comprise two distinct yet complementary processes,
teaching students religion and teaching students to be religious in the particular way of the Catholic
Church. We acknowledge too, the ecumenical nature of those of our schools that have entered into
partnerships with other Christian traditions. This too is a holy work.
At a time when we need to become more missionary, God is breathing the Holy Spirit into us in new
ways. How could it be otherwise, given that God always equips those whom he calls? So I am pleased
to see that while this new curriculum will be accessed through the more traditional technology of
a book it will also be available online through a comprehensive website and an ‘App’ containing a
wealth of theological background for teachers.
I am grateful to the staff of Brisbane Catholic Education, Religious Education Services who have led the
way with this project. We are indebted to the many teachers, diocesan and university representatives,
priests and theologians who have given of their time so generously. My hope is that the students of
the Archdiocese of Brisbane will, through this curriculum, understand the Catholic faith more deeply
but most importantly enter into a profound personal encounter with Christ, crucified and risen, for
that is the heart of Christianity.
This project is the beginning of a new era in the way we conceptualise and teach Religious Education.
To enter new territory will require imagination, courage and, above all, faith. It will mean letting go
of old baggage as we set out, like Abraham, on a new journey led by God. My prayers are with all of
you as we set out on the great adventure of opening the infinite treasures of Jesus Christ to the young
people whom we care called to serve.
As always in the Lord,
Archbishop of Brisbane