The Catholic Schools Office and its schools serve the community of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and make up a large, valuable and vital part of the mission of the Church. Bishop William Wright is the pastoral leader of approximately 150,000 Catholics in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. The territory in the diocese extends from Lake Macquarie to Taree and as far inland as Merriwa and Murrurundi.
The diocese provides pastoral, health care, social welfare and educational services for the community in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Hunter, Upper Hunter and Manning areas. The Vision and Mission of the diocese can be viewed here.
Within these areas there are currently 31 priests who minister in 42 parishes as well as 22 priests who may be retired, on leave or engaged in special duties. Three permanent deacons also minister in the diocese. The diocese is further divided into ten pastoral regions and four deaneries.
The parishes and agencies of the diocese are supported and resourced pastorally and administratively by the Chancery (Bishop's Office), Diocesan Pastoral Support Unit, State School Religious Education, the Financial Secretariat and the Communications Office.
CatholicCare Hunter-Manning is a mission and outreach agency of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and provides a range of social services including child and family services, youth and community services, youth crisis accommodation, disability services, counselling, mental health support, adoption and foster care (Out-of-home Care).
The Catholic Development Fund is a financial intermediary that exists to further the pastoral mission of the Church in the diocese. It does this by lending members' funds to finance diocesan and parish building projects. An important role of the Catholic Development Fund is to generate income for the diocese to assist in its pastoral activities.
Caritas Australia is the Catholic Church's agency for overseas aid and development. It is part of the international Caritas network, supporting aid and grassroots programs in nearly every developing country.
Catholic Mission is the official mission aid agency of the Catholic Church providing practical, spiritual and emotional support to communities in 160 developing countries, encouraging all people to be active participants in partnership with the church world-wide.
Religious Congregations (twelve in total, three male and nine female) also provide a range of pastoral, social welfare, educational, aged care and health services for people in the community.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul is also active within the diocese providing emergency relief, counselling and accommodation services.
Stories about the diocese, its community and the many programs and initiatives offered can all be read in Aurora, the diocese's monthly magazine. Aurora has a circulation of 70,000 copies and is made available in six fairfax newspapers as a glossy liftout with excess copies also distributed to parishes, schools and diocesan agencies where possible.
In summary, the diocese employs approximately 2200 (full-time equivalent) staff. These employees are complemented by a multitude of volunteers. Whether we call them volunteers or people involved in ministry, without their generous assistance and commitment, the pastoral works of the Church would be extremely limited or non-existent.
The Catholic Schools Office invites you to read more about the diocese and the many initiatives, services, programs and support services offered.