Parish amalgamation is becoming an increasing reality in many dioceses and is likely to become a greater necessity into the future. The amalgamation or merger of two or more parishes generates many questions, uncertainties and fears. It challenges the meaning of parish – its identity, purpose and best practice, especially in the light of the new evangelisation. Fr Paul Monkerud has faced these issues recently in coordinating the merger of Ryde and Gladesville Parishes in Sydney. Drawing on his experience, Fr Paul will explore how the decision to merge and the merger process itself unfolded, and some key learnings from the exercise which led to the new parish being better placed to develop as a community of the new evangelisation.
About Fr Paul
Fr Paul Monkerud is a Priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney. He was ordained in 1988 and has served as Assistant Priest at Liverpool and Cronulla Parishes. He was appointed Vice-Rector and First Year Director of St Patrick’s Seminary at Manly in 1992 and continued these roles as a founding staff member of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush. He became Parish Priest of Ryde in July 1998, of the twinned Parishes of Ryde and Gladesville in April 2010 and of the merged Ryde-Gladesville Parish on 24 May, 2015. He received a Doctorate of Ministry in 2007. Fr Paul has been Dean of Ryde (2008-2016) and Episcopal Vicar for the Inner Region (2014-2016). He is currently Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation (2014 ongoing) and will be Episcopal Vicar for the Western Region (24 May 2016 ongoing). He is member of the Parish 2020 Group investigating the reconfiguring of the Archdiocese and a new Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan.