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Thursday, 30 April 2015 09:36

Fr Stephen Bevans svd returns to Australia for Mission Conference

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Prof-Stephen-Bevans-svd150Renowned missiologist, academic and speaker, Fr Stephen Bevans svd will return to Australia in May as a keynote speaker at the ‘Mission: one heart many voices 2015 conference in Sydney.

Fr Stephen is the Louis J. Luzbetak svd, Professor of Mission and Culture at Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union and a renowned teacher and author on Mission. As an SVD missionary he worked for nine years (1972-1981) in The Philippines. He was a popular presenter at the inaugural ‘Mission: one heart many voices’ gathering two years ago.

Over 300 people are expected to attend this year’s conference, a multi-sector dialogue on living the Joy of the Gospel and leading mission, which will run in Sydney from May 18-20.

Father Noel Connolly, Chair of the Australian Mission Network and head of mission studies at the Columban Mission Institute, says this year’s conference will echo the success of the inaugural edition two years ago.

“There was an energy and equality [in 2013] that only mission can bring,” Fr Noel says. “The 2015 conference promises to have the same spirit.

“We are collaborating in something much larger than ourselves: God’s life and mission in the world.”

Presented by Catholic Mission and Catholic Religious Australia, this second national mission conference offers outstanding keynotes, four panel discussions and up to 30 workshops, targeted at leaders of mission across many Catholic sectors, including parish, health and aged care, education, social services and more.

Among those attending will be directors, CEOs, executives, religious leaders, and academics, many of whom will contribute their experience and insight to the panels and workshops.

Fr Noel, a presenter at the event, says the conference’s themes draw on the vision of Pope Francis, presented in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium and expected in his eagerly-awaited encyclical on the environment.

“The major aim of the conference is to give those ‘out on the streets’ and perhaps ‘bruised, hurting and dirty’ a ... vision that will unite, encourage, sustain and enable them in their various vocations,” he says.

Adopting a particularly environmental theme in 2015, ‘Mission: one heart many voices’ will play host to a list of renowned leaders in mission and ecology from across the global Catholic spectrum.

Joining Fr Stephen and Fr Noel as presenters, will be Mrs Jacqui Rémond, Dr Maryanne Loughry, Professor Patrick Dodson and Fr Denis Edwards.

The conference presents wide-ranging benefits to attendees and their networks, says Fr Noel.

“It is an opportunity to gather many voices,” he says. “It should not only be an opportunity for personal renewal, but for congregations and organisations to provide professional development for their staff.”

For more information, or to register, visit www.mohmv.com.au or call 1800 257 296.

This article was published in the April 2015 issue of In The Word, the eNewsletter of the Society of the Divine Word Australian Province.

Read more about the Society of the Divine Word Australian Province.