Archdiocese of Hobart hosts annual national CDF Conference
By Josh Low
A recent three-day conference in Hobart saw the Archdiocese host approximately 50 Catholic Development Fund (CDF) managers and senior employees from 22 funds across Australia and New Zealand.
Held at the Crowne Plaza from 26 to 28 February, the annual CDF conference gave delegates the opportunity to discuss various topics relevant to the Funds.
Representatives of CDPF Ltd, part of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, were in attendance as well as Archdiocesan Executive Director, Chris Ryan.
CDF Fund Manager for the Archdiocese of Hobart, Cody Burdon, said the conference was aimed at presenting an agenda that represented all the Funds, with topics relevant to as many attendees as possible.
“Notably, there were sessions covering compliance, cybersecurity, an economic update, and also an interactive exhibition on the life of former Archbishop of Hobart Sir Guilford Young,” he said.
Mr Burdon said he received positive feedback following the conference, with participants also impressed by Archbishop Julian’s understanding of the work involved in Funds.
“They were particularly impressed with the presentation on the work of our Archdiocese in the social housing space because that’s not very common.
“Lots of people didn’t really understand it before so they were able to get a good grasp of our work in the housing sector.
“People also enjoyed the networking opportunities, particularly the dinner on Monday night which Archbishop Julian attended, [with] a lot of positive feedback from people about Archbishop Julian and how he understood what funds did – they really appreciated that,” he concluded.
In his address on the Monday evening, Archbishop Julian said the network of Catholic Development Funds working together is a ‘noble example of Catholic unity and mutual responsibility’.
“One of the great success stories of the Catholic Church in Australia is the development of a treasury arm which has enabled the Church to fund many of its important projects,” he said.
“It has also been of great value to individual dioceses…a number of [which] depend on [the provided annual dividends] for their very financial survival.
Drawing on Scripture, Archbishop Julian invited those present to reflect on the ‘ultimate goal’ of the Church’s services.
“Our various Catholic agencies are important places of interaction between the Church and people in all sorts of diverse circumstances.
“These agencies offer the opportunity for an engagement with people where we can witness to the Church as a mediator of compassion, understanding and love. But we must not stop there,” he said.
Archbishop Julian said our agencies are not and should not view themselves as only being ‘inclusive’, but instead as being a gateway to be ‘transformative’.
He added that through connection with people, doors can be opened whereby people can see what the Church offers, and thus be attracted to the faith in all its beauty and richness.
The work of the Catholic Church and its agencies was directed towards, “enabling all people to come to know, love and serve God and be with Him for eternity,” the Archbishop said.
“This is the mission of the Church, and this is the mission that you enable by your work in the CDF. I thank you for helping the Church to advance its mission here in Australia,” he concluded.
The National CDF Conference is hosted by a different Fund each year, allowing for a collective sharing of current matters as well as providing a greater understanding of the host Diocese.