The Catholic Enquiry Centre has been re-organised to enable it to reach a new generation through different social media platforms as well as support parishes in spreading the Good News.

The CEC has recently launched its Catholic Discovery page on Facebook and is looking for an engagement manager who will ensure the CEC’s message is relevant to contemporary New Zealanders and strengthen the centre’s connections within the Church.

In a letter to CEC supporters, New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference president Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn said the bishops have confirmed a new mandate that “updates the core work of the CEC for a new era”.

“Part of the challenge this mandate presents is combining new methods of proclaiming the Faith — ever ancient, but also ever new — with the same mission — to draw people into full, active, conscious participation in the Catholic faith community,” he added.

Bishop Dunn said the new mandate includes: “Proactively engaging with those for whom Christ is not known, with people of Christian Faith, and those who have lost the sense of faith, as they seek to discover more about the Catholic Church (Catholic discovery); supporting people in parishes and schools as they seek to grow their communities and support society with the Good News of Jesus Christ (evangelising community); resourcing the development of Catholic leaders for mission (Church leadership); being a reference point for the Church to formally engage with wider society, on matters of faith (societal engagement), and maintaining and building an investment portfolio to support this mandate (stewardship).”

CEC chairman Gerald Scanlan told NZ Catholic the new mandate broadens the role of the CEC within and across the Church.

“We’ve got more of an outreach to the wider community and across the Church and we’re looking to utilise contemporary means of communication more effectively,” said Mr Scanlan.

He said the CEC also becomes a resource “to support all of those within our Catholic community who are engaged in mission work within New Zealand, promoting the work of the Church and inviting people to consider Catholic faith”.

“It would be good to have a greater impact and also to reach what is an increasingly diverse population in New Zealand,” Mr Scanlan said. The Catholic Discovery NZ facebook page is being developed as a brand to increase CEC’s social media presence.

Mr Scanlan said acting director Dave Mullin was responsible for the fresh new look.

“We’ve been trying to refresh our online presence and make sure it [is] still compelling and invites a response,” Mr Scanlan said.

Mr Scanlan said another new development for CEC is that it will now operate as part of the NZCBC secretariat.

He said this will ensure that CEC “can be more sustainable and also it doesn’t require quite a lot of extra overhead”.

Bishop Dunn, in his letter, also said, “CEC’s closer alignment with the NZCBC will help it collaborate more easily with other agencies who participate in the Church’s dialogue with society”.

Mr Scanlan said CEC’s board will also transform into an advisory board. “The advisory board will have diocesan participants so that Catholic Enquiry Centre gets better connected to each of the dioceses,” he said.