One of the tasks undertaken by NAD is a biennial national conference. All deacons, candidates, aspirants, from Australia and New Zealand, of any Catholic rite, and their wives are invited to attend. Others who attend include those responsible for deacon formation and other interested clergy from dioceses throughout Australia.
The primary aim of the conference is ongoing formation of deacons. Themes are chosen which reflect different aspects of theology, especially theology of diaconate and ministry, Scripture, liturgy, spirituality and pastoral practice. A series of presentations are provided on the chosen theme over three to four days. Small group discussion among participants and interactive question and answer sessions with presenters assist in processing the input and integrating it into the ministry of deacons.
A second aim of the biennial conference is to encourage the formation of a network of relationships among deacons. Not only are friendships formed and deepened but mutual support in ministry often results from exchanges of ideas.
The conference occurs within a context of fellowship which is fostered through prayer; celebrating Mass and Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer), and through shared meals and conversation.
Aspirants and candidates have often found the conference contributes to their discernment of a diaconal vocation as they meet the reality of diaconal ministry through their participation in the fellowship of the conference.
Each biennial conference is held in a different State or Territory of Australia.
The 2013 Conference was held in Canberra 19-22 September, at St Thomas the Apostle Parish, Kambah, ACT.
The theme of the 2013 conference was Go and Make Disciples of All Nations(Matt 28:19).
A copy of the PowerPoint presentations can be found below.