Listening to the Future at Glenmore Park and Luddenham-Warragamba
On Tuesday 19th June, 2012, the pastoral planning team joined parishioners of Padre Pio and Sacred Heart parishes at Glenmore Park. New parish priest of Glenmore Park, Fr Robert Reidling, introduced the consultation evening and shared his appreciation that while it may be too soon for some to look ahead to future goals, given the recent departure of Fr Kevin Lee, for those prepared to share it provided an opportunity to have their voices heard and for him to hear the longer terms goals which the parish would like to work towards. It was also important to honour the consultation evening as it was planned before Fr Kevin’s departure and to hear as well from the parishioners of Sacred Heart, Luddenham-Warragamba, as equal stakeholders in the future Diocesan Pastoral Plan.
Some 54 participants shared their responses to the five pastoral priorities over the following two hours, with great enthusiasm for building upon the good works already underway in our parish communities and beyond. Thank you to all for their goodwill, honesty and generosity as we discerned the best pastoral initiatives available to us for the coming years.
In support of families, it was suggested that connecting with families following baptism was essential in realising and growing a community of faith in life. It was recommended that consideration be given to the ways in which parent relationships could be supported, as well as parent-child relationships in the context of parish life and faith. The generation of resources, literature and support, were underscored as vital in supporting families in faith which is the ultimate goal of our planning together.
In the area of youth the emphasis fell on cultivating communities that provided pathways of involvement for young people, from encouraging the outreach of energised, young Catholic adults in our State Schools to homilies that spoke also to the realities and decisions of young people’s lives.
Ethnic diversity was recognised as a gift to the Diocese and a point of interrelation between parish communities, drawing connection between people across parochial boundaries. However, more could be done and consultation with the Diocese’s multitude of ethnic groups was affirmed as essential. On this note, we can certainly confirm that our ethnic chaplains have been invited to organise and facilitate forums for this purpose with their people. We hope to deepen this engagement in the coming months.
In the area of laity and clergy, existing Lenten programs were affirmed by the parishes as a strength to be celebrated while the need for better communication of existing services and programs were again raised. Given the limited size of parish bulletins and the plethora of announcements that can demand time during liturgy, the challenge of communicating the many good things happening through the Parramatta Diocese remains. Please continue to email us on this website with your ideas in this area. The need for faith formation and follow up following RCIA, a process known as ‘mystagogia’, was also affirmed as future activities with which to more deeply engage.
Finally, in the area of evangelisation the need for outreach to fathers was emphasised and the need for the Church to provide practical support for people in need as an expression of Gospel love that can draw people deeper into the faith and community. A number of other initiatives were raised, centring on faith formation, which underlines the significance of the Institute for Mission and parish-based leaders in this regard.
A sincere thanks to both parishes for their expression of faith in their own communities and the Diocesan community as a whole. It was an affirming night that brought to focus the essentially missionary character of the Church and our shared commitment to the best possibilities of the Gospel in a new time.
Yours in Christ,