In a Time of Preparation Towards Action and Growth for Parishes

by Fr Nino Vinciguerra

Therefore, get your minds ready for action, being self-disciplined and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13)

Preparation in the life of the church is a significant activity. We prepare for Easter during Lent and Christmas through Advent. Indeed, preparation was an essential part of Jesus’ mission as he prepared the disciples and the faithful for the time when he would no longer be physically with them. Prayer, listening to God and discernment are the fundamentals of our religious practice which we invoke as we prepare for something significant.

We also do this in our own lives and often the preparation takes much longer than the event being itself. For instance, think of the preparation of a wedding which can take months and months to plan but may be over in a day. However, the preparation of these events is not just about the culmination but the foundation that is laid for the years to come.

The Parish Renewal Group is in a time of preparation as it enters a period of dialogue with priests and parishes about how best to support the formation of pastoral parish councils. We hope to have news to you about this by the end of the year. However, being in a time of preparation, we are currently gathering the information and knowledge needed to generate the necessary formation resources and more importantly creating the foundation required for the future growth of parishes.

Hopefully, all parishes are now more active and have awoken after the COVID shutdown. Over the coming months the Parish Renewal group will be posting articles, reflections, prayers and other information on parish pastoral council formation to this website. We hope to be able to share new information every two weeks on issues ranging from preparing for pastoral formation through the various stages of planning and discernment to action and growth.

Please pray for us and if the Spirit moves you let us know your ideas and thoughts.