A young father and convert with a passion for revitalising local parish communities will take up the mantle as Director of Parish 2020 for the Sydney Archdiocese.
Mr Daniel Ang, Director of the Office of Evangelisation in the Diocese of Broken Bay for the past four years, said his focus will be on the life of the local parish.
He hopes to bring his experience to re-ignite the Gospel message in new ways at the parish level.
“I look forward to joining the life of the Archdiocese of Sydney, and with a deep sense of gratitude for the gifts and learnings from these past years in the Diocese of Broken Bay,” Mr Ang told The Catholic Weekly.
The married father of two young children is an member of St Bernadette’s Parish in Castle Hill, where he was received into the Catholic faith 20 years ago with his wife Sara. He grew up in a Buddhist and Taoist family.
“A particular focus of mine over some time has been the life of the local parish, which still remains at the heart of the Church’s life and mission and has to inform the future directions of the Archdiocese in faith,” said Mr Ang who takes up the role in June.
“I envisage that personal discipleship, living community and apostolic outreach will be at the centre of our vision and pastoral practice as Sydney continues to evolve.”
Fr Gerald Gleeson, Vicar General of the Sydney Archdiocese said he was “delighted” that Mr Ang would be taking over leadership of the Parish 2020 project.
“He brings both academic and practical expertise that will enhance our goal of renewing parish life and re-configuring our parish structures for the 21st Century,” Fr Gleeson said.
He said the aim of the Parish 2020 project was to strengthen parishes “especially those small communities which lack both human and material resources, so they are equipped to be vital centres of Evangelisation in their neighbourhood”.
As the new Director, Mr Ang replaces Tony Farley, who has already taken up his new position as Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools.
A key member of the Executive Committee for Plenary Council 2020, Mr Ang will provide advice and support to Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP as the project is integrated into the structures and ministries for evangelisation within the Archdiocese.
Mr Ang said he believes the most important question for the Church today is how to change in order to remain faithful to God’s mission.
“I don’t think there would be many who would not recognise that the Church finds itself in a particular moment of history,” he said.
“There are undeniable challenges but also, I find, an undeniable hope among people active in our parishes, youth and migrant communities, movements and institutions that our future can, and must be, transfigured by our learnings and also the gifts of our past.
“In building on the good work undertaken on Parish 2020 to date, I look forward to serving in the Archdiocese. I thank Archbishop Anthony especially for the invitation and trust to share in this mission, as we look to a future in which we are anchored in our faith and move at the same time.”
A statement from the Broken Bay Diocese said Mr Ang had been responsible for the transformation of their Office for Evangelisation into a “vibrant and resourceful team” and that he had “demonstrated remarkable leadership and vision” over the past four years.
Parish 2020 is a pastoral project aiming to reinvigorate the Church’s mission in support of new approaches to evangelisation and effective pastoral care.
The project seeks to achieve this through the renewal and strengthening of parishes with a focus on deepening personal relationships with Jesus Christ and also proclaiming the Gospel and reaching those outside parish communities.
Mr Ang will take up his new role for the Archdiocese at the end of June.