Fr Brian Lucas is preparing to leave behind his administrative duties and become more involved in the core work of the Church – its mission to the world – after being appointed national director of Catholic Mission.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, announced the appointment on 14 October following the resignation of Martin Teulan.
Fr Lucas has, for more than 13 years, been general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Prior to that he was archdiocesan secretary and financial administrator of the Archdiocese of Sydney for 12 years.
The president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, said Fr Lucas had given “his considerable skills, expertise, hard work and giftedness” to serve the Bishops.
He said the priest had made an “immense contribution … to many areas of Church life in Australia”, and that Fr Lucas’ new role “will be involved with the mission of the Church and the support of the expansion of the faith in many countries”.
Fr Lucas said he was looking forward to taking on the new role.
“For the past 25 years, my work has been directed to internal issues of Church administration,” he said.
“While this is important and I have enjoyed what I have been asked to do, this new appointment is an opportunity to be part of the Church’s work of evangelisation at an international level.”
Catholic Mission is known elsewhere in the world as the Pontifical Mission Societies, whose statue explains that the missionary commitment of the Church is practiced through witness of life; the proclamation of the Gospel; the establishment of local churches and their work of inculturation; through inter-religious dialogue; the formation of conscience to put into practice the directives of Christian social doctrine; reaching out to the marginalised and the concrete service of love.
“This is a broad agenda that touches the lives of everyone,” Fr Lucas said.
“The Church is concerned with all that affects human well-being and promotes the fullness of life.
“Australian Catholics have traditionally been very generous in their support for the work of missions and I see the role of Catholic Mission as essential in facilitating a spirit of missionary fervour.”
Fr Lucas will relocate to Sydney from Canberra and take up his new position after completing responsibilities for the November Plenary meeting of the Bishops Conference.