So what happened at the Parish Assembly?
Guest speaker, Fr Professor Frank Moloney, held the 60 participants spellbound with his insights into the Australian Plenary Council decrees and into the significance of Pope Francis who has given Catholic Christians the motivation to pay as much attention to the Word of God as we do to our traditional liturgies; to become a more joyful and merciful people, more Christ-like in our relationships; to dream of a better future for our community and our planet, walking together listening to and sharing each another’s joys and sorrows.
Any nervousness about voicing our thoughts on the eight identified themes and writing them on tens of Post-It notes, evaporated as the table facilitators quickly established a respectful listening atmosphere for each break-out group. Michael McConville and his youthful apprentice, Natasha John, did an amazing job facilitating the day overall. Michael’s great skills and good sense of humour were much appreciated. The small-group discussion approach was hugely successful in allowing parishioners to drill down into what the themes and decrees will actually mean for our parish in 2023.
For three hours there was such a joyful buzz in the hall which can be attributed not only to the wonderful finger food lunch (Thank you Mary, Nilda, Sr Jose and Juan Carlos.) but also to the display of so many parish group reports as well as to the time and energy put into planning by the Parish Pastoral Coordinating Team (PPCT). Thanks also to the many parishioners who, while not present, prayed for the success of the assembly. All these efforts paid off. By 3 o’clock on the day we were revitalised. We felt proud to be Catholic.