Sunday, June 26, 2011

AUSTRALIA: TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF LISTENING

DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA: St Patrick’s Blacktown Parish has recently undergone a process that shows the transformative power of listening.

Working with the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Social Justice Office and the Sydney Alliance (a coalition of Church, union and community groups committed to the common good) and with the support of their Parish Priest Fr Peter Confeggi, 10 of the parish's leaders were charged with holding a series of ‘conversations’ over six weeks to surface the pressures and issues that were affecting parishioners.

They did this by finding and sharing the diverse stories of the Parish - stories of racism, the lonely isolation of the elderly and the challenge of building community.

The conversations were mutual exchanges, so that relationships were being formed that would help change the parish and the local area for the better.

As Fr Peter noted, it’s no accident that “the Latin roots of conversion and conversation are the same”.

Read full story at the Catholic Outlook Site

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