Pastoral Planning for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta

Marayong – 24 July 2012

Community Spirit and Responsibility at Marayong

200 x 133 parishioners-22On Tuesday 24th July, 2012, we resumed our consultation process following the mid-year school holidays and joined the parish of St Andrew the Apostle at Marayong for our twentieth consultation of the year. Fr Ron McFarlane, parish priest of Marayong, led us in prayer with around 60 people in attendance.

Marayong parishioners1-17Supporting family life and the new evangelisation were the most popular priorities of the evening, with the need for family prayer resources named as one initiative to help parents sustain faith in their families. The self-responsibility of parents to read Scripture and reflect on faith with their children was also acknowledged with the probing question raised in the written feedback, “Whose job is it?” It is hoped that one of the broader aims of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan will be to invite reflection on the meaning of discipleship as it is lived by all the people of the Diocese.

Marayong parishioners2-15The opportunity to connect back with families after baptism was highlighted as a future priority while the need to better welcome new families into our communities was also identified. In the area of youth, the importance of spending quality time with youth in the context of faith and family was raised, while the need to listen to their desires as well as challenging them to participation in the mission of the Church were named as necessities. Deanery activities and resource sharing were also raised on the evening, while connecting with other parish youth groups and activities was seen as a strength of many parishes, including Marayong, which could be further built upon in the years to come.

Marayong parishioners3-14The need to include the particular concerns of ethnic communities in our prayers of intercession was raised as an appropriate response to the diversity of our people while raising awareness of significant feast days was an added suggestion. In the area of laity and clergy, the need to expand vocations promotion was named as well as the need for focused, personal invitations to others to join ministries and so share in service.

Talk of the new evangelisation focused on the need for formation for such a task, with the need for parish teams dedicated to this task raised as a possibility. Our own flexibility and willingness to go beyond our comfort zones was seen as critical to this mission as well as to make the most of significant events in the life of the parish and that of families, including sacramental celebrations and liturgies.

Thank you to all who participated in this latest consultation event. The community spirit and commitment of those we met at Marayong gives us much hope for the future. Look out for our update in the September issue of the Catholic Outlook which will provide a summary of the key findings to date. With only eight or so consultations left, don’t forget to take note of our remaining consultation dates and invite your family or friends to participate in the shaping of our Diocesan Pastoral Plan.

A summary of feedback from 34 parishes to date

A summary of feedback from 34 parishes to date

While taking a break from parish consultations, we have been busy meeting with individual diocesan agencies and sharing your feedback with them, updating the clergy of the Diocese on your views and suggestions, and have commenced initial research into pastoral initiatives that will strength our mission into the future.

Yours in Christ,

Daniel Ang

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