You may recall earlier articles by Fr. Philip about the proposed parish Synod or Gathering, this spring. I’m pleased to report that a number of families have already hosted Small Groups of parishioners in their homes, in preparation for the general gathering in 6/8 weeks’ time. More are being planned for the coming weeks. If you receive an invitation to attend one of these meetings, we would ask you to seriously consider accepting it. The groundwork at these meetings will be vital in ensuring a fruitful outcome to the gathering. Another way you can support this initiative is by praying for those who are participating by joining them in the prayer, Come, Holy Spirit.
We would like as many people as possible to share their views and vision for St. Mary’s with us. The Small Group meetings are one way of trying to make this happen. We also hope to canvass people attending Mass and to contact teenagers and young adults when we identify an appropriate forum! It’s a work in progress. We’d love also to hear from the parents of young children, from those doing (or have done in recent years) so much to prepare their children for the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation. These young people will soon be teenagers. In Panama at the recent World Youth Day, Pope Francis spoke of the danger of living in a kind of waiting room, sitting around until we are called. His words for the young people were: We are on a journey. Keep walking, keep living the faith and sharing it … you are the Now of God! One of the challenges we face, as a parish community, is how do we help young people to live and share their faith.
We have posted a one-page Questionnaire on the parish website, and, again, we would encourage you to let us have your views. All comments will be considered in structuring the actual Synod/Gathering itself.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of the planning for the gathering, please do not hesitate to approach any member of the Parish Team or the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) – we’d love to hear from you.
We live in challenging times where the cultural context in which the church exists is seismically changing, we need to pray, plan and face the challenge as a faith filled people-together!
On behalf of St. Mary’s Pastoral Council