Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, has announced the appointment of Father Brian Lucas as National Director of Catholic Mission.
This appointment follows the resignation of Mr Martin Teulan who has taken up another position.For just over 13 years, Fr Lucas has been General Secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and, prior to that appointment, he was for 12 years Archdiocesan Secretary and Financial Administrator of the Archdiocese of Sydney.
Welcoming the announcement, Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the ACBC, said Fr Lucas has given his considerable skills, expertise, hard work and giftedness to serve the Bishops as General Secretary since August 2002.
“We recognise the immense contribution which he has made to many areas of Church life in Australia. We thank him for his service and extend our prayers and wishes for his important new role,” Archbishop Hart said.
“We are grateful that Fr Lucas has agreed to undertake this new role, which will be involved with the mission of the Church and the support of the expansion of the faith in many countries,” he said.
Responding to the announcement, Fr Lucas said he was looking forward to becoming more involved in the core work of the Church, which is its mission to the world.
“For the past 25 years, my work has been directed to internal issues of Church administration.
“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,” he said.
Catholic Mission is the name used in Australia for the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS).
Fr Lucas noted that the Statute for PMS explains that the missionary commitment of the Church is practised 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. 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,” he said.
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.