Parish Pastoral Assembly 2011
A family parish that is rooted in Jesus Christ, driven by faith, teamwork and dedication that will transform lives and communities – that was the vision agreed by parishioners of City Parish,Penangwhen they came together during their parish pastoral assembly on 20 Nov.
56 parishioners. attended the assembly at theAssumptionChurchball which started with a Praise and Worship by the Filipino Catholic Community of Penang (FCCP). The bible was then enthroned followed by gospel reading and prayer.
Mr John Dass the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) chairperson welcomed the parishioners and informed the purpose and objectives of the assembly. He thanked the parish priest and the assistant parish priest and other priests who helped celebrate mass in City Parish.
In his keynote address, Parish priest Fr. Dominic Santhiyagu elaborate on the purpose of the assembly.
“You heard when there is no election. the people will suffer. Well, when we have no mission. the parish will suffer. That’s why we are here today to discern together what are our pastoral needs. Let us all do things in an objective manner.”
He thanked the Parish Animating Team (PAT) for their hardwork in planning for the Assembly and also those in the PPC. Leaders of all groups were not forgotten as he thanked them for their unending support and participation. Finally, he said, thanks should also goes to the parish staff, who did all the administration works for the Assembly.
A colorful slides presentation of all parish events and activities in 2011 was presented by Francesca the PAT secretary. Two forth-coming events that will be in Dec, ie the Feast of St Francis Xavier and Christmas party were informed to the participants.
This was followed by a review of the parish special event – Family Day, and the BEC special event – Family 24 hrs Prayer Day. A review of the BEC and Service Groups were also done.
Fr Dominic then introduced the Diocese’s, thrust, target and slogan, and explained briefly the 2012 year’s theme – Evangelisation Through Liturgy. The parish’s vision and mission, as pre-prepared by PAT were then unveiled and let participants a free hand to edit them, if they like. City Parish mission are as follows: (for vision, please refer right on top).
– To be rooted in the Word of God.
– To build Christ-Centred parish communities and BEC.
– Reaching out to all, be witnesses for Christ and the Church.
– Being a welcoming parish.
Various groups then made their planning report, followed by group discussion. Participants were broken into groups to discuss two questions – in what way can we evangelise to Christians and non Christians and what other pastoral issues do you wish to bring to the attention of this Parish Assembly.
Some feedback to the first question were: encourage Bible Study, visit the sick, invite non Christians to our social events, show movies with gospel values followed by discussion, understand why we worship (liturgy).
The feedback to the second question mostly centred on BEC – a vibrant and lively BEC needed, more youth participation in BEC, integrate the Word of God in BEC, followed up on newly-baptised after RCIA, ensure all races of a group (e.g. Alter Servers, wardens) are represented in a multi-lingualMass.
After all the review and planning had been completed, the participants were asked to vote on the condition of the parish – stagnant, growing, grown. Surprisingly, all voted for ‘growing’.
The last presentation was by the Parish Finance Committee. Christopher Kushi, the secretary, showed the income and expenditures of the parish, apart from the budget requested from various groups and budget approved.
Before wrapping up the assembly, Joyce Lee, the PPC secretary made some general conclusions.
She highlighted on the consensus agreement that the Parish is growing. This is very evident from the physical signs that can be seen, she said, e.g the church had been air-conditioned, the parish office had been re-organised and renovated. Renovations were done here and there at all the 4 churches too. However, she added, what about the spiritual growth of the parishioners and the people who come to worship?
“The feedback to the group discussions, on question 1, touches on out-reach, open house during Christmas, inviting friends to church events, etc – all these can be summed up as to be friendly and loving’ she said, “There was also a comment on understanding why we attend Mass. I hope with the new Mass order and the theme to do with liturgy, we can concentrate on making the Mass more alive and vibrant.”
– by Lucia Lai
note: for more photos, please visit our facebook photo album.