The church is a communion for mission. Just as Jesus gathered his disciples into a communion of faith in him, he then sent them out to draw others into that communion. Therefore the seminary formation programme seeks to cultivate in seminarians a strong sense of mission, to discover the missionary dimension of their pastoral, intellectual, spiritual and human formation and equip them to be missionaries in the parishes to which they will be sent.
There are three dimensions of mission that students must be prepared to engage with.
Mission to the whole Church
The student should develop an awareness and a concern for the mission of the wider church beyond his own diocese, country or rite. Travelling to diocese in remote parts of Australia or overseas for a time of mission experience, living in a seminary with a multicultural community and meeting Catholics of the Easter Churches are ways that the seminary helps students grow in an awareness of their mission to the whole church.
Mission and Dialogue
Students are encouraged to be men of mission though dialogue with the world around them, especially in regard to interfaith and ecumenical dialogue, community issues of justice and peace and being able to work with people of good will and all those searching for the truth. Pastoral work in parishes, hospitals and nursing homes, schools and social welfare agencies, engage students in meeting with a wide range of people and learning to dialogue with them. Reflecting on these encounters helps students understand how to undertake the mission of the church.
The New Evangelisation in today’s world
Seminarians are prepared for the pressing pastoral task of the new evangelisation among the People of God, finding new methods and expressions for announcing and witnessing to the Gospel in a multi-faith, multi-cultural and in particular, a secular culture. The academic studies at Catholic Theological College explore theology and culture and the student’s pastoral work and mission experiences help them put the new evangelisation into practice.