AMPJP clarifies priorities

4 November 2019 by

From a weekend of rich discussions and periods of prayerful discernment came greater clarity of purpose. This was the experience of the Council of the AMPJP when it gathered with 19 representatives of its eleven member Ministerial Public Juridic Persons (MPJP) on 01-03 Nov 2019 at the Catholic Leadership Centre, Melbourne.


The weekend workshop was initiated by the new AMPJP Council which was elected in August 2019. The Council assessed that the AMPJP had made solid progress since its establishment in 2016 in facilitating communication and an ecclesial community amongst its 11 members. The Council wanted to gather with a greater representation of its members to reconsider its understanding, role and purpose of the AMPJP.


The weekend started with a dinner presentation from Dr. Martin Laverty. Dr Laverty spoke about the challenges and opportunities for peak bodies, such as AMPJP. He drew on his recent discussion paper: Development of Australia’s Current Ministerial PJPs and also spoke from his wealth of experience from his previous role as CEO of Catholic Health Australia and his current employment as Secretary General with the Australian Medical Association Ltd,


On the Saturday and Sunday, the gathering was ably facilitated by Patricia Bergin.


The AMPJP’s three-year-old foundational documents were reviewed with a consequent sharper focus and a change in language.


The workshop recognised the diversity of structures among the MPJPs and also identified a long list of unifying characteristics and interests.


Saturday concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist with Rev Steve Curtin SJ.


The workshop looked at the fundamental concerns of the AMPJP and its area of expertise. This enabled a consensus view that the voice of the AMPJP is the unique way that MPJPs exercise their ministry of governance within the Church.


This uniqueness was partially defined as coming from:

  • the context of ministries, including health, education, aged care and social services;
  • subsidiarity in respecting the different roles of MPJP trustees, their boards and ministries’ executive;
  • co-responsibility of MPJPs internally with their boards and externally with Church Authorities;
  • collegiality which requires that all decisions be made collectively by MPJP Trustees; and
  • collaboration and an openness to work with others to foster the Kin-dom of God.


Other priorities to emerge from the meeting were:

  • Formation and development of MPJP Trustees;
  • Recruitment of MPJP Trustees;
  • Informing others within the Church of the nature and role of MPJPs; and
  • Fostering strong relationships with key Church Authorities.


A number of committees were formed to progress these priorities.


Eva Skira, Chair of AMPJP Council said:

“The meetings have left us with a stronger sense of our unique contribution within the Church and energised to work on our shared priorities.”

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