Ruah Parish Renewal Day


Ruah Parish Renewal Day POSTPONED

Thank you to those who showed an interest in the Ruah Parish Renewal Day scheduled for Saturday 16 June.
After much consultation, we have decided to postpone this event until another time in early 2019. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and we will be in touch with ticketholders to organise a full refund.

Please do not hesitate to contact Suzanne Hermon at our Office on 9926 5761 if you have any enquiries.


In Hebrew, the word ruah means ‘spirit’ or 'breath’. At Pentecost, we mark the moment the church came into being; when the Holy Spirit breathed life into the new Christian community. It is this same Spirit who continues to move in our world today, constantly inviting us to create communities of encounter and accompaniment. The Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation invites parish leaders and volunteers to its annual parish renewal day, offering various workshops focused on enlivening and enriching core parish ministries such as liturgy, music, social justice, RCIA, youth, parish pastoral councils and hospitality.

Opening Presentation

"The Listening Church: Plenary 2020"
Presented by Cathy Jenkins
Director of the Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation 
Diocesan Coordinator for the Plenary Council 2020 


Participants can choose two workshops, one from each block: 
Workshops (Block 1)
  • How do we lead in a parish? An opportunity to share some tools of the trade
    Presented by Cathy Jenkins, Director of the Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation

  • Music alive: Enhancing active participation through music at Mass 
    Presented by Larissa Cairns, Cantor at St Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne

  • RCIA: The heart of our community or just another group?
    Presented by Jacqui Giuliano, Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation
    "The parish is … an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration." (Evangelii Gaudium n. 27) The parish is the context for RCIA, we are striving to be RCIA parishes not just a parish with an RCIA. This workshop will explore possibilities for enlivening this heart of the parish, providing an opportunity for an interactive dialogue for those who wish to participate.

  • Creating a parish culture of hospitality and welcome 
    Presented by Mary Ryan, Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation
    The Church, as desired by Jesus, is the home of hospitality. And how much good we can do, if only we try to speak this language of hospitality, this language of receiving and welcoming. How much pain can be soothed, how much despair can be allayed in a place where we feel at home! (Pope Francis, Homily 7/12/15) This workshop aims to explore and promote the hallmarks of this essential ministry in scripture, church tradition and pastoral practice across all dimensions of parish life. Participants will learn the theological underpinnings and ways to identify and grow best practice. Opportunity will be provided for shared experience and dialogue.

  • Social justice: What could it look like in our parish?
    Presented by Mark Clarke, Director of the Office for Justice & Peace

  • The work of the liturgy team: Guidelines for the seasons
    Presented by Dr Paul Taylor, Executive Secretary, Bishops Commission for Liturgy, ACBC
    This workshop will explore the role of liturgy teams in preparing liturgical celebrations for the seasons of the Church's liturgical year. Particular attention will be devoted to the issues of selecting texts, preparing intercessory prayers, choosing music (with a focus on Catholic Worship Book II, 2016) and other strategies to foster the full, conscious and active participation of the people in the Church's liturgical prayer.

  • Accompanying families in the parish
    Presented by Matthew MacDonald, Director of the Life, Marriage & Family Office
    Pope Francis noted in Amoris Laetitia that “The welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church” (AL 31). No marriages, no families – no parish (at least not for long). This workshop will showcase a number of very simple resources that parishes could easily run without the need of an “expert” presenter.

  • Youth ministry for the long haul
    Presented by Jessica Mills, Director of the Archdiocesan Office for Youth
    Looking to build a youth ministry that goes the distance? Jess Mills from the Archdiocesan Office for Youth will share some of the practical tools and structures recommended to lay a strong foundation for a sustainable youth ministry. Hint: it’s going to take a village!

Workshops (Block 2)
  • Leadership: Enacting the mission
    Presented by Members of the Deepdene & Balwyn and Camberwell Parishes

  • Music alive: Hymns to make Ordinary Time sing
    Presented by Fiona Dyball, Director of Music at Immaculate Conception Hawthorn
    Ordinary time is anything but ordinary – we sing the mystery of God’s love alive in our lives every day of the year. Come to experience and sing through a range of new and lesser-known hymns that promote communal singing, while also creating shared beauty and joy for parish communities. Songs will be taken from a range of accessible and affordable sources that suit the Catholic Church in Australia and speak to all ages. All materials will be provided, and people will be given a resource sheet so they can follow up the music that will suit their community after the workshop.

  • RCIA: Parish perspectives 
    A Panel featuring the Parishes of St John's Mitcham, Our Lady Star of the Sea Ocean Grove, and All Saints Fitzroy
    Like all other ministries, RCIA coordinators and teams often go through ‘life, death and resurrection’ phases, and can be prone to ‘ministry fatigue’. This workshop seeks to draw on the wisdom of RCIA coordinators to seek their advice and experience in starting, running and ‘succession-planning’ an RCIA group, for one or many, in the context that you find yourself in.

  • Parishes as centres of mercy
    Presented by Denis Fitzgerald, Director of Catholic Social Services Victoria
    Pope Benedict XVI reminded us that ‘Love of neighbour, grounded in the love of God’ is a responsibility for the whole Church, from the parish level to the Church universal. This workshop will focus on how to go about strengthening a parish as a centre of service to those in need, building on the experience of participants and of other Melbourne parishes.

  • Multicultural Melbourne: A parish as a community of communities
    Presented by Fr John Healy, Parishes of Laverton, Altona Meadows and Point Cook

  • The joys of bereavement ministry
    Presented by Frances North, Our Lady of the Assumption Cheltenham
    Bereavement Ministry is a Ministry of Accompaniment, and therein lies the joy – walking with people in their sadness and helping them navigate what can be a difficult time, as we commend their loved one to our God. Covers meeting with bereaved family, listening to their story, preparing Vigil Prayers (if requested), preparing Funeral Liturgy, Interment, ongoing support. How do we manage funerals of children, stillbirths, people who have died by their own hand and people estranged from their family?

  • Ongoing care for ageing parishioners
    Featuring the Parishes of Holy Spirit North Ringwood & St Raphael's East Preston
    In their 2017 Social Justice Statement, the Australian Catholic Bishops celebrated the value, dignity and significant contributions of older people to the life of the community. They also reflected on the circumstances of those approaching the end of their lives and warned of the loneliness, ageism and abuse that older people can experience. This workshop showcases two examples of parishes who have made it their mission to celebrate and support their elderly parishioners.

  • Different paths up the youth ministry mountain
    Presented by Annaliese Ros, Archdiocesan Office for Youth
    There is no one size fits all for a thriving youth ministry. Join the AOY and parish youth ministry leaders to explore some of the different approaches parishes in Melbourne are taking in their efforts to animate and accompany young people in their faith journeys.

  • What is a hashtag? Tips for communicating the mission
    Presented by Tiffany Davis, Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation
    In his message for World Communications Day 2018, Pope Francis focused on the importance of deep reflection and authenticity in a world governed by a fast-paced 24-hour news cycle and online tools that encourage ‘swiping up’ instead of ‘hitting pause’. Inspired by the adage ‘think before you speak’, this workshop offers some tips for effective communication at the parish level, beginning with identifying who your audience is, which communication channels will be most effective and, importantly, knowing what to say.


The purpose of the day is to encourage parishioners in renewing the work of particular groups and/or to provide resources on how to go about establishing a particular group. 
9.30am  ---- Registration & Morning Tea
10.00am --- Welcome & Opening Presentation
11.00am --- Workshops (Block 1)
12.30pm --- Lunch
1.15pm ---- Workshops (Block 2)
2.30pm ---- Final Gathering & Commissioning
3.00pm ---- Conclude

Cost & Bookings 

  • Individuals: $30 per person
  • Special group rate: $100 for a group up to five (5) -- ideal for parishes to have various ministries represented!
Cost includes morning tea and lunch.
Register online at  
For any enquiries, please contact Suzanne Hermon on 9926 5761 or via email on

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