FORMING INTENTIONAL DISCIPLES UPDATE: FEBRUARY/MARCH
Thank you to the many parishioners who came to our meeting in February. A number of people also took the trouble to send their apologies that they were unable to attend this time. We hope to see you next time! There is a lot of goodwill and positive energy to build our parish community and actively welcome new members as well as those who may have lapsed from their faith. We should like to encourage all of you to help and take part in the following initiatives:
Daffodils for Mothering Sunday: We would like to buy some daffodils for our children to give out to parishioners on the weekend of Mother’s Day (Sunday 31st March). Would you be willing to sponsor the daffodils? If so, please let Fr John know. We would also like to encourage our teenagers to help the younger children distribute the daffodils. Teenagers willing to help should speak to Kathryn Poulter firstname.lastname@example.org or Iain McLay.
Parish forest walk on Sunday 28th April: An informal chance to socialise with fellow parishioners. Further details to come nearer the time. Bring family and friends!
Car pool: We are aiming to form a list of volunteers to provide lifts for people to our weekend Masses. Could you help? If you could volunteer or would like more details, please contact Grainne 07402 907594, Emma 07790 767829 or Marjorie 07905 619566.
Bible study/faith sharing group: Open to all who are interested in the Sacred Scriptures and in understanding them. The six-week programme will meet on Wednesdays, beginning on 15th May. Everyone welcome!
Moving forward with our Parish Evangelisation Team!
Following the popular and fruitful Forming Intentional Disciples programme in the autumn, we now have a Parish Evangelisation Team (PET) that meets monthly to:
Reflect on, and to discuss, opportunities to spread the Good News among our own parishioners and the wider community;
Plan and organise a wide range of activities in our parish;
Help each other to develop our faith and our relationship with Jesus Christ through words and actions.
WHAT DOES EVANGELISATION MEAN?
Zealous proclamation of the Gospel in order to bring others to Christ and his Church. In the words of Pope Paul VI, “Evangelizing means to bring the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new, ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new’ (Revelation 21:5). But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by baptism, and by lives lived according to the Gospel” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 18). Evangelization, therefore, includes three distinctive elements: 1. interior conversion to Christ and his Church; 2. affecting not only the individual person but the whole culture; and 3. as a result, changing this culture and its institutions to make them Christian and Catholic. (Etym. Latin evangelium; from Greek euangelion, good news, reward for bringing good news, from euangelos, bringing good news: eu-, good, + angelos, messenger.)
The ‘New Evangelisation’ initiated by Pope St. John Paul II & Pope Benedict XVI recognise the Church’s mission to proclaim Jesus Christ in the Twenty-First Century, and the various challenges involved in that process.
These are the prayers that we will say together during our Forming Intentional Disciples meetings.
Monday 16th July 2018. 8:00pm in the Parish Retreat.
This is an extremely important meeting. I would ask that all members of the Parish Pastoral Council please be present. But I would also like to extend the invitation to anyone in the parish who is interested in learning more about Evangelisation. Realistically, the survival of the Roman Catholic Church in this country is rooted very much in the various methods of Evangelisation that we employ in our parishes. This is a really serious time in the Church, and I would encourage as many parishioners as possible to attend. I have managed to get Mr Mark Lambert to come and speak about the Evangelisation Initiative of ‘Forming Intentional Disciples’. Hopefully this will dove-tail into our Stewards of the Gospel Initiative. Reaching out to our lapsed Catholics and also to be welcoming to new members in the Church. At present we’re running a Faith Sharing Programme; and in September we will begin our Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults once again. Evangelisation is at the heart of all parish life, preaching the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is fundamental to our commitment in faith. In truth, many people are leaving the practice of their faith; the reasons are many and varied, but anything that can help us understand why we are at Mass each Sunday and why we’re Roman Catholics, can only be a good thing! Hopefully these two new initiatives will help us!
Bishop Alan Williams outlines the vision and direction for the Stewards of the Gospel initiative.
Dear Friends in Christ,
On behalf of our Stewards of the Gospel, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of the parishioners who attended the Parish Consultation Group Meeting last Wednesday, there were a good number of parishioners, and to receive your input will be extremely beneficial when we have to make our report to the diocese with regards the proposals and changes that will take place at parish and diocesan levels! One cannot become complacent about our parish structures and provisions, that’s why the diocese is seriously looking at all aspects of parish and diocesan life. In truth, the reality is, that there are far fewer priests than there were 25 years ago. Most priests are on their own in parishes, this also applies to parishes that would have had three and four priests in the past, our own included. Many priests have other functions and ministries in the diocese on top of their parochial duties, and the proposals to link two and three parishes within the next ten years are going to affect every community!
On a positive note, I feel that this is a wonderful opportunity for the gifts and talents of all our parishioners to come to the forefront. The greatest asset to every parish community is the people. Your giftedness, your good will, your kindness and generosity, are the building blocks of a great parish. I have been here 16 years, and have been extremely happy to have worked with so many wonderful people. The future is exciting; it gives us an opportunity to explore new methods of parochial ministry, with the training of Catechists, and other people who can assume various apostolates and ministries throughout the parish. My philosophy as a priest of nearly 37 years has always been to enable and encourage all of our parishioners to assume their rightful place within the life of faith and the Church. And to this end it is incredible to witness wonderful growth and strength within the parish community.
Each one of you has something incredible to offer to God and the Church! If you feel that you would like to be involved, perhaps as a member of our newly constituted Parish Council, please see Leona Foster or myself. There are many other groups in the parish that you can be involved in, there is something for everyone. Also we will be starting some new groups, Bible Study, Apologetics Course, Series of talks, etc. Anything that can help in the mission of Evangelisation – proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ – can only be a good thing! When you know and understand about your faith it helps our commitment! Let us pray daily for our Parish!
May God Bless You All,