PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL PLANNING
As you will read in Anton’s article below, I recently attended the Bateman Parish planning day. I want to add that while the planning day itself was inspiring, what was also just as pleasing, was that the planning day was in fact possible because of their understanding of the true purpose of a Parish Pastoral Council.
They have very much taken on board and put into practice, the Church’s understanding of the role and function of a Parish Pastoral Council. This ‘understanding’ that the Parish Renewal Team have explored in our formation sessions, comes from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and is affirmed in a variety of official Church documentation from Rome. Very importantly, we have emphasised that all the elements of the Church’s understanding of the role and function of a Parish Pastoral Council comes together in the prayerful discernment of a Parish Pastoral Plan.
It is very gratifying and inspiring to see Bateman Parish putting all the above into practice, and I would encourage any person, any Parish Pastoral Council to see what Bateman are doing. I would also quickly add, that Bateman face all the usual difficulties that a Parish encounters. The journey to develop a pastoral plan that genuinely grapples with the strengths and weaknesses of a Parish, is not an easy path and only possible as our Archbishop says, as we strive to be a truly praying community, prepared to walk together in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd
Parish Pastoral Council Planning Day – St Thomas More, Bateman Parish
By Anton Louie – Chairperson
On 11th February 2023, the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) of St Thomas More Bateman, met to kick off their pastoral planning for 2023. In recent years, our Parish Council based our initiatives on the Archdiocese’s 2016-2021 Plan. We have been using the tools learnt from attending the ‘Strengthening and Revitalising Parishes’ workshops run by Fr. Nino and his Parish Renewal Team. The meeting commenced with the Adsumus Sancte Spiritus prayer, followed by a brief session guided by Fr Nino. The team reviewed the planning process and later brainstormed and identified a few priority areas for 2023, as follows:
- Revitalise efforts to welcome new parishioners
- Explore new initiatives for faith development
- Setting up formal communication channels to listen to parishioners.
- Retention of current parishioners, integrating them more into parish life & developing community
- Strengthening current ministries & initiatives
- Strengthening youth ministry
The meeting was adjourned after 2 hours with the PPC having to continue to discern about other priority areas including developing strategies and action items in the coming weeks. After the closing prayer, the team enjoyed a delicious luncheon and fellowship.
On behalf of Fr. Phong and rest of the Parish Council, we wish to express our gratitude to Fr. Nino for taking the time to attend our planning day event and for inspiring and encouraging us.