Phase II of the inter-diocesan consultation 2012

Brief Summary

In 2009  Archbishop Tlhagale commissioned the holding of an Inter-diocesan Consultation for 2012. This consultation  was begun in 2010  and the final result was handed to the Archbishop at the plenary meeting of the Bishops; Conference in January 2013,  on schedule.

The Consultation was completed in two phases. Phase I was the review and survey of the pastoral plan of 1989 to discover its present status. The results of this phase of the Consultation were presented to the bishops at their Plenary meeting in January 2011. Phase II was carried out over 2011 and 2012 and finalized in December 2012.

The theme of Phase II was the “Nature of the Church”. It sought to lead people into a deeper understanding of the Church and the roles of the laity within it. It was organized along the lines of small groups who would sit together over a year and reflect on a number of themes.  At the end they had to answer a questionnaire. Phase 2 comprised three separate questionnaires. The most important one was that for the laity

The following statistics emerged from Phase 2

Twenty Two dioceses participated in Phase II

Fifteen dioceses sent in responses to the questionnaires

There were 1,043 groups among the fifteen dioceses who responded

There were 11,932 involved in these groups

This was a good representation across the country, replies coming from both urban and rural groups.

There was a second questionnaire for the priests in the parishes who had engaged with the consultation  process. And there was a third questionnaire directed by the local bishop to all priests and religious ( via LCCL) in the conference region. The replies to these questionnaires proved very insightful.

All the replies to the three questionnaires were collated and analyzed and the following recommendations were submitted to the Bishops.

1.     There needs to be a greater emphasis placed on the evangelization and formation of the youth as a long term strategy.

2.     There has to be great attention given to the formation of SCCs, PPCs and Sodalities and leaders at all levels.

3.     A positive approach to the spiritual welfare of the family and support for married life needs to be developed to help priests in this ministry

4.     The preaching skills of priests and one can include deacons needs to be upgraded.

5.     Parishes need to be helped to create an atmosphere whereby people can experience the presence of Christ

6.     There has to be a concerted effort to develop a, missionary spirituality (John Paul) an outward looking spirituality ( Bishops’ vision).

It will; be up to the bishops to carry forward these recommendation. This is usually effected by mandating departments within the Conference to act on them and plan for their implementation. It should be notes that since 2009 when the process of the Consultation began, other events have taken place, such as the Synod on Evangelization and the proclamation of the Year of Faith. Future pastoral planning will have to take these other events into consideration.

The Department of Evangelization which coordinated Phase II thanks all the respondents who availed themselves of this opportunity to share their time and experience in answering these questionnaires.

Fr Barney – SACBC Department of Evangelisation



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