Sydney’s parishes have been re-organised into nine deaneries, down from 11, and grouped into three episcopal regions, each headed by an episcopal vicar.
This follows the promulgation of a formal decree effecting the change signed by Bishop Terry Brady on behalf of Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, who is recovering from illness.
The decree, which took effect on 7 March, cited several reasons for the change, including the research of the Parish 2020 committee Archbishop Fisher established to bring “the best demographic and planning expertise to bear upon the matter of the distribution of deaneries and possibility of establishing formal episcopal regions entrusted to episcopal vicars”.
Parish 2020 conducted consultations in the then-11 deaneries after providing demographic data to support their reorganisation. (Priests were given maps of the proposed reorganisation in December.)
The decree says the archdiocese also followed the Congregation for Bishops’ 2004 text, Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, and the declaration of the Vatican II document Christus Dominus that “concern for souls” be of paramount importance in any re-organisation.