PARISH COORDINATING TEAM MEETING

A report from the meeting of the 25th Nov 2009

Prayer A carefull hearing of the latest Neighbourhood letter followed by a communal reading of the prayer in the letter

Parish Target This short statement was read to the assembled team.

By the end of 2009 all the people of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish Sunbury, through their experiences and through structures of communication and participation, are aware of the value of every person.

PCT Membership Each Neighbourhood will elect a permanent representative to be a member of the PCT from the Parish AGM on the 27th Feb 2010. This representation will likely be for a twelve month period which will be renewable if the Neighbourhood and the representative is willing. In order to facilitate this, Neighbourhoods will be asked to meet and arrange the drop of an invitation to all the Catholics in the neighbourhood so all will have an opportunity to elect a representative to the Parish Coordinating Team.  At the meeting where the PCT representative is elected, the Neighbourhoods will also be asked for any proposals they may like to present to the Parish AGM.

Parish Assembly or AGM Will be held on the 27th Feb 2010 and written reports/posters from all Parish groups will be hung on the walls and each group will be asked to give a verbal report of about half a minute. Proposals will also be accepted from the Neighbourhoods via their elected representative. Proposals will need to be submitted in writing by 19th Feb.

Next meeting Wednesday 3rd Feb 2010 at 7.30pm

PAINTING OUR OWN CHURCH

Next Friday and Saturday there will be a paint-a-thon to paint the entrance area and outside of St Anne’s Church beginning 4.00pm to 10.00pm Friday 4 December and 8.00am to 4.00pm Saturday 5 December. Please bring your own paint brushes (4cm and 8cm are best sizes) rollers and trays, step ladders, paint containers and rags.
Please sign up for a 2-hour session during Mass today.
Other parishes paint their church.

THE YEAR FOR PRIESTS (JUNE 2009-10)

Catholics are invited to pray for their priests during this year that they may be prophets like John the Baptist preparing the way for the Lord by pointing people to Jesus by their life and ministry.
A card of prayer for priests is available today from the Welcome Desk.

MELBOURNE OUTER PARISHES

The Archdiocesan Office for Evangelisation holds two meetings a year for parish teams from the growing outer parishes. Last Thursday, our parish was one of four parishes (others being Hoppers Crossing, Hoppers Crossing North and Narre Warren) asked to make a presentation on models for fostering participation.
We outlined the processes for contacting all the baptised, our renewal retreat in 2006, our planning, our setting up of the neighbourhoods and our letters delivered by the parish posties to our 3,100 Catholic homes. Our presentation was well received.

BELL TOWER RESTORATION APPEAL

This appeal has been very successful mainly due to the raffle for the Home Theatre package and the Gala Auction Dinner which was an outstanding evening with quality food, music and weather.
The auctioneer Anthony Delaney, the Victorian champion auctioneer, was in dazzling form helping the guests to buy well.
The raffle was a huge success. Rupertswood Mansion was a generous and competent venue.
The fundraising committee met weekly for seven weeks at the Mansion.
This week our architect, structural engineer and steel fabricator are meeting to advance the construction of a new bell tower.

PARISH LITURGY TEAM REPORT

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Liturgy Team Report

It was good to see quite a few new faces on the team. These were parishioners who had volunteered during the “Workers in the Vineyard” program.

Parish Target

The team looked at the Parish Target. (By the end of 2009 all the people of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish Sunbury, through their experiences and through structures of communication and participation, are aware of the value of every person.) This grew out of the program “Journeying Together” in August and September 2006 in which the parishioners arrived at their vision of the ideal parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. With the end of 2009 almost upon us we need some reflection on the target.

Neighbourhood Letter

The final letter to all the parishioners on the parish list will have the theme of “Acceptance and Hospitality” and this will be the theme of this years Advent. As the letters are delivered there will be an invitation to any Catholics who are not on the parish list to consider sending in their details and also a timetable for the Christmas Masses. This invitation will be dropped in all the other letter boxes that don’t get a copy of the Acceptance and Hospitality letter.

Advent

The theme will be “Acceptance and Hospitality”.
An Advent Wreath needs to be organised for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.
The Tuesday 9.15am Mass at St Anne’s Church will be cancelled and there will be a 7.00pm Mass at Lady of Mount Carmel Church on Tuesdays instead. This will enable those whose working hours preclude them from attending Mass during the week to be able to come. The Wednesday 9.15am Mass will move from Lady of Mount Carmel Church to St Anne’s Church.
Once again we will have the lighting of the Advent Candles with a community prayer and a community sung response.
There will also be an Advent Hymn.
The audio/visual has been optimised so all the congregation will be able to read from the screens.

Christmas Music

A sub-committee was formed to look at the music for the parish Christmas celebrations, as well as the requirements for Advent. This will involve writing the community prayers, composing the sung responses and composing the Advent Hymn.

Consecration of the New Altar

On February 7th 2010 at 10.30am Bishop Tim Costelloe will come to at St Anne’s Church in order to consecrate the new Altar and dedicate the new Font, Ambo and Presiders Chair. This is an exciting occasion in the Church and the liturgy contains elements that go back through the mists of time to the very early church practices. We hope to be able to inform parishioners of the Why, What, How, etc so that they may get the most from the occasion.

Blessing of the Mount Carmel Bell

This will take place at 9.30am on the 21st March 2010. The Blessing will take place outdoors at Lady of Mount Carmel Church and will then move to St Anne’s Church for the Eucharist Celebration. Afterwards we will gather in the Parish Centre.

PARISH RENEWAL TARGET

Some time ago we gathered as a parish to look at how we could revitalise and renew ourselves, and through ourselves, our parish. We decided on a target for the parish as follows:

By the end of 2009 all the people of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish Sunbury, through their experiences and through structures of communication and participation, are aware of the value of every person.

Earlier this year we gathered for an evaluation of the results so far. A report is available here.

As the end of 2009 is nearly upon us, it’s possibly a good time to reflect on how we have done in the pursuit of the target. Do we need to extend the time? How well do you thing the parish has gone? How far do you think we have gone? What else needs to be done?
One of the things that was requested at the evaluation meetings was a way to give feedback to the rest of the parish. Here is one way. If you have any comments on this or on anything else on this site, just leave a comment at the bottom of the article in a nom de plume or in your own name. I think the parishioners would dearly love to know what their fellow parishioners think.

BELL TOWER RAFFLE—-DON’T MISS THIS!

Please return your book of tickets sold or unsold by Wednesday to the Parish or School Offices, as the raffle for the Home Theatre Package will be drawn this week. You may have missed the Melbourne Cup, don’t miss out on this.

OUR PARISH RETREAT

Our Parish Retreat is on today 25 October from 11.30am to 2.30pm in our warm Parish Centre (cool, wet weather is forecast).
The retreat will cover two aspects of the Spirituality of Communion strongly taught by Pope John Paul II in 2001.
The aspects for today’s retreat are Participation and Prayer.
The facilitators are Jill Gibbs and Father Kevin.
Please bring some lunch to share and your Bible.

PARISH COORDINATING TEAM MEETING

A report from the meeting of the 22nd Oct 2009

Prayer Led by Jill Gibbs with a reading from 1 Peter Ch5 1-5

Sacramental Program Confirmation organising is fine. We need more resources.(people) The focus is on the students growth and conversion. In the Holy Communion program, First Communion will take place in the middle of the program in order to build towards there being a second Communion, and third etc. We still need animated Neighbourhoods and broad parishioner support and enthusiasm for this to be successful.

Renewal and Parish Retreat This was discussed at length. It was felt that the numbers on Wednesday were somewhat lacking, those that attended felt it was very enjoyable.

Youth Group They have had a couple of gatherings but they, like so many other groups need to become visible so that the Parish can feel a part of their successes.

Mass of Thanksgiving This will be on Nov 22nd at 10.30am Mass. All asked to bring a plate. Some volunteers required to setup the Parish Centre.

National Committee for Professional Standards A sun-committee was set up to investigate a “Code of Conduct” and report back.

Centenary Celebrations Report It will be a busy year with a great range of activities for all. Bulla will be involved, Parish Ball, Car Rally, etc. Raffle tickets and other fundraising will take place after Masses on Sunday 25th.

“Year for Priests” A letter with various suggestions was recieved from Bishop Tim Costelloe. One of our main activities will be celebrating the 40th Aniversary of our Parish Priest on Sunday the 23rd May 2010. Further information on the Year for Priests can be found at this website.

PCT Membership All Neighbourhood coordinators or a permanent representative will be permanent members of the PCT from the Parish AGM on the 27th Feb 2010.

Parish Assembly or AGM Will be held on the 27th Feb 2010 and written reports from all Parish groups will be hung on the walls and each group will be asked to give a verbal report of about half a minute.

Parish Census Neighbourhoods will deliver the cards as they deliver the final letter for the year and it is expected that some will need extra “Posties” to cover their areas. We will need calls for help to be in early and we will need all the volunteers we can get.

Next meeting 25th Nov to setup for the AGM among other things.

A REPORT FROM THE PARISH RETREAT

Spirituality in Our Times

This year our Parish Retreat was on the theme “Spirituality for our Times” and was led by Father Kevin and Jill Gibbs.

We commenced on Wednesday 21st Oct by exploring the “Spirituality of Communion“. We discussed the difference between a monologue and a dialogue, between being talked at and conversing with. In a dialogue we seek to share our way of seeing and our personal history with others and to try to see their way and their history. It is an attempt to build up the Body of Christ, not tear it down.

Next we talked about the power of silence and how we can use silence to give space to those to whom we wish to listen. In Christian Meditation we use silence to simply “BE” in the presence of God.

On Sunday 25th we took the themes of “Participation” and of “Prayer“.

We saw how things were different in the early days of the Church, when all of the members of the Body of Christ brought their individual gifts to the service of all the other members of the Body. The members had different gifts but all were expected to share in the Whole.The Body grows in this multiplicity of gifts but it is not chaotic or haphazard growth because it has a unifying focus: the growth of the whole Body of Christ. From this point of view participation is a gift of the Holy Spirit. We are called, in our diversity, to participate and contribute to the unity and growth of the Church, the Body of Christ to which we all belong by virtue of our Baptism.

We then talked about the need to make time for prayer in our lives and indeed to make a prayer of our lives. We spoke of personal prayer and community prayer and we read Psalm 139. St Paul’s statement “Pray without ceasing” in the first letter to the Thessalonians was looked at from the point of making one’s life a prayer. Prayer consists of saying “Yes” to God with one’s intelligence and will to the point of identifying oneself with, and freely conforming to, the will of God. It is the “Thy will be done” of the Our Father, of the Annunciation, and of the Agony in the Garden. It is the ordinary Human Life lived in God. It is the “Yes” of the ordinary Jewish girl to her God in which Mary participated in bringing forth the redemption of the world through her son, Jesus.

THANKSGIVING

Sincere thanks to all those families who completed cards last weekend. Special welcome and thanks to 24 families who joined the program and the 43 others who increased their giving. As a result we can expect to receive $259 a week extra—thank you.
If you weren’t here last weekend and you would like to complete a card, these are available at the Welcome Desk in St Anne’s Church and at the back of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

PARISH RENEWAL & RETREAT

‘Spirituality in our Times’, facilitated by Jill Gibbs.

This is an opportunity to take another step on our journey of renewing our faith and our action as parishioners based on the gospels and current Church teaching.

Session times: Wed 21 October 10.00am to 11.15am
or 7.30pm to 8.45pm
Sun 25 October 11.30am to 2.30pm (please bring some lunch to share)
Venue: Parish Centre

Pope John Paul II wrote

‘to make the Church the home and the school of communion: that is the great challenge facing us now….if we wish to be faithful to God’s plan and respond to the world’s deepest yearnings’ (2001).

Our retreat is to promote a spirituality of communion in ourselves so that we can appreciate the need to strengthen our neighbourhoods in our parish.

‘Let us have no illusions: unless we follow this spiritual path, external structures of communion will serve very little purpose. They would become mechanisms without a soul, ‘masks’ of communion rather than its means of expression and growth’ (John Paul II—2001).

CHILD PROTECTION SUNDAY—13 SEPTEMBER 2009

Today, Sunday, is the conclusion of Child Protection Week. The theme for this year is Promoting Safety for all in our Parish. The aim is to ensure that all communities and organisations within the church are safe and enriching environments for people of all ages, with special concern for children, young people and vulnerable adults. A prayer card from the Australian Bishops Conference is available today—one for each home.

PASTORAL COORDINATING TEAM MEETING

The Pastoral Coordinating Team meeting was held on Tuesday night 22nd July. The night commenced with the recitation of the Litany of Blessed Mary MacKillop and then proceeded to the General Target which is to be found at the bottom of this Post. The Target, which was decided by the parishioners, was to be achieved by the end of 2009 and the next step we need to take is a census so we can make contact with:

All the people of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Sunbury

A sub-committee was setup to look at how best to implement this.

There was a discussion of the “Workers in the Vineyard” program and the formation that has already been done with the lectors and the extraordinary ministers of Communion. Rosters are under construction and will be communicated as completed.

August 26th will be a day when the Parish Leadership Team etc plan the calendar for the next year. It was requested that the full 12 month parish calendar be published on the parish websites and this will be done.

Fr Bert’s Golden jubilee will be celebrated on the 13th September with Mass at 10.30am followed by a morning tea.

The Youth Group Coordinators were starting on the night of the 26th July with a get-together an Pizzas kindly provided by the Sunbury Branch of the Knights of the Southern Cross.

Later in the year Jill Gibbs will hold a Parish Retreat on Communitarian Spirituality which will be a follow on from the retreat held to coincide with our recent Parish Evaluation.

The Centenary Committee asked for some funds for a deposit in order to book the venue for the Parish Ball to be held in October next year. This will cost $55 per head for drinks, meal and band. The timetable for the Parish Centenary events are on the History page of either website.

The Sacramental Program with parish integration is underway and we will be looking for wider neighbourhood support with practices etc.

A Neighbourhood map has been put up in the gathering space of St Anne’s Church and the program of sending a card to all Baptismal families from the pertinent Neighbourhood is about to get underway.

The next meeting will be held on the 9th Sept 2009

Our Parish Target

As resolved by the parishioners following the Parish Renewal Program

“By the end of 2009 all the people of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish Sunbury, through their experiences and through structures of communication and participation, are aware of the value of every person.”

Explanation of the terms used in the target.

all the people: all the Catholics and their families, the parish priest and the religious, those who live within the boundaries and those who live outside the boundaries who choose to make this their parish, different generations, those aspiring to become Catholics, non-Catholic students, staff, and their families who identify with the Catholic schools in the Parish, and all those who choose to associate with us.

through their experiences: not just through words but through what actually happens, e.g. neighbourhood gatherings, personal contact, greeting and smiling, making oneself known to, showing an interest in, remembering other people’s names, being friendly towards, expressing care for, offering practical assistance to, working together in some common action.

structures of communication: ways of decentralising the parish such as area teams, the parish Good News letter, visitation to families, mailings, internet, email, parish web site.

and participation: pastoral care, assemblies, and open parish gatherings,are aware of, have a sense of, get used to the idea of, are awakened to, have an initial realisation of, are conscious of.

the value of every person: respect for the dignity of a person, the worth of each, the uniqueness of each.

Reasons to justify the target.

From the situation: on the one hand we are fragmented, unknown to one another,many have little sense of belonging, there is a lack of confidence and a lack of self-esteem. On the other hand some of us in the parish really want others to feel involved but don’t always know how to go about it.

From the ideal: Through the word of God in St Paul’s letters we are reminded that we need every member of the Body of Christ. Every part of the Body has it’s own purpose in the whole.

The conversion or step of growth we want to help happen is: That we move from letting people remain anonymous and go towards helping them to be recognised, connected, accepted, and to have a sense of belonging in the parish.

Results of the Renewal Evaluation Gatherings

Evaluation – Sunbury 

In two meetings open to all parishioners, about 25 people took advantage of the opportunity to evaluate and give suggestions for future planning. 

The process followed three broad questions: 

1. where are we on our journey of renewal, 2. where do we want to be in a specified time, and 3. how can we get there. 

1. Where are we on our journey 

Achievements and efforts: 

1. Worship spaces 

Opportunity provided (three sessions) for formation about changes in worship space. This was very beneficial for those who took advantage of the opportunity; brief moments of formation also given during our Sunday liturgies; both worship spaces have been renovated and made more inclusive and accessible; more friendliness at Mass — we learnt from our experience in the hall and we like the togetherness; sense of pride in what we have achieved 

2. World Youth Day  

Cross and Icon in Sunbury; a great parish event, well-attended and well organized; the ecumenical character of the event was also well done and well received. 

3. Thanksgiving Campaign (Planned Giving) was successfully carried out and with a successful result even though times are difficult. 

4. Neighbourhoods 

24 NH’s were set up; some have Coordinating Teams, others just a Coordinator, and most have a network of Parish Posties. We have come a long way but still have a long way to go. Some NH’s are functioning better than others; it is a struggle to get some of them established. The efforts of NH teams were commended. 

5. Parish Posties and Evangelizing Letter : There has not been a lot of feedback but what there is has been positive, e.g. feel recognised as a parishioner though I don’t come to Mass; a great initiative; given confidence to contact Parish Priest for a visit; it is hard to know the results of the Evangelizing Letter but the parish is right to make the effort to involve all in the mission of evangelizing. 

6. Sacramental Programmes: The children are made known to the parish and parishioners are asked to pray for them and support them; they give energy to our parish; baptismal preparation programme expresses the fact that baptism incorporates us into the Body of Christ; the preparation of some children and culmination of the RCIA at the Easter Vigil was a powerful experience; 

7. Parish Team, Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Coordinating Team: recognition of the valuable work of the parish team; good move to amalgamate the Council and the Coordinating Team 

8. Christmas Appeal: good change in this appeal; targeted for a more generous and practical response, expressing a recognition of the dignity of people by giving them the opportunity to use the donation in a way best suited to their needs. 

9. Social Justice: incorporation of care for the environment in their portfolio 

10. Knights of the Southern Cross: more awareness of their work though they are small in number. 

11. Sunday Bulletin: very good content and very informative 

General remarks 

We are pleased with our parish and we see that we are moving forward. There is a sense of openness, no closed doors, with the opportunity to participate and dialogue. Small social groups starting up; community spirit is good and still growing; there are a lot of ordinary things going on all the time (e.g. visits to the sick) that we forget about; we tend to see just what is lacking. 

Lacks: 

No children’s liturgy at present; Mass numbers dwindling; people holding back on making a commitment; need to improve our roster system; not enough consciousness of the fact that we are all called to evangelize; some NH’s not functioning too well; after a good start things seem to have died back; services for youth are lacking; lack of communication 

2. Where do we want to be this time next year 

Note: the morning group preferred to look at a three-year time span 

In general 

Increased participation and commitment; change involvement from just school to parish; church be inclusive of all irrespective of financial considerations, e.g. high school fees; involve newcomers with their gifts; find ways to use the talented and willing people; ten new people involved; are we cliquey: we hang around after Mass but talk to the same people; personally invite people to participate; invite people to consider changing their role 

1. Liturgy: annual change-over of lectors; improve the way the readers and special ministers are organized; reinstate Children’s Liturgy; extra activities in the liturgy: should not be too many on the same weekend; 

2. Communication: have a parish magazine; parish letter at Easter and Christmas; more use of parish website; display NH map; names and faces of PCT/Parish Council; name tag and their NH of those at the welcoming desk; 

3. NH’s: explore possibilities for development; need for feedback; change the mindset and create awareness that we all belong to a NH and that many things should be organized at NH level; NH make contact with families after baptisms, other sacraments, in times of sorrow and special need, etc. 

3. How to get there 

In general 

Affirming and empowering people to take on parish work, build up confidence in doing things; personally invite people; things take time; we should not be discouraged; 

Find out where people are; do a census in every NH; 

Stress the importance of meetings such as these as a way of learning about the people and hopes in the parish; 

Welcoming area: make it effective; use of parish directory; NH information; photos of key events; photos/names of members of PCT; 

Parish Centre: to be more available to parish groups at minimal cost (finance committee) 

Rosters: need to act on them; people have volunteered their services and have not yet been called on; increase participation so more are doing less; 

Communication: rather than a parish magazine, make better and increased use of Website; parish letter also at Easter and Christmas; 

Youth and Children: Youth Mass (perhaps 5.30 Sunday); encourage youth participation; reintroduce Children’s Liturgy; School choir occasionally at Mass; 

Music Groups get together to see how to enrich our liturgies; 

Cuppa after Mass 

Out of all of the above, we feel that the following are the priorities for the coming year. Other aspects can be addressed if we can find the time and the people to carry out the necessary actions. 

Census by NH’s (October) 

Pastoral Workers/Ministry Weekend (time to be decided) This would include an introductory weekend (at the Masses), preparation of a description of each ministry, and enrolment form 

Parish Assembly: on the morning of Saturday 27 February 2010; facilitator: Jill 

Development of the PCT/Parish Council amalgamated body: Composition: Parish team; NH 

coordinators, perhaps because of numbers, one coordinator represents 3 NH’s; nominate or elect 3 

other members at the time of the Parish Assembly (not single issue people) 

Gatherings of all Pastoral Workers: for their own enrichment (prayer, formation), to discuss their area of responsibility and organize their service in line with the parish planning; (gatherings could have a different emphasis: one, more geared to organizing their service; one more geared to prayer/formation; one more geared to reporting/accountability to the whole gathering 

Rosters; Children’s Liturgy??? 

NH’s: their continued development: PCT members taking responsibility for different NH’s; encourage NH teams in their efforts to keep the “parish posties” network operating so that the common evangelization thrust can continue; decentralising of sacramental programme has already begun; others to be organized, e.g. visits to sick, RCIA sponsors, acknowledging newly baptised and other special times, e.g. a card . This means finding persons in each NH to carry out these small occasional services, and Lyn to supply the necessary information. 

This year’s Evangelizing Letter to focus on the theme of Acceptance/Understanding 

Eastertide Parish Retreat

Eastertide Parish Retreat

This will be held on Sunday 26 April in the Parish Centre from 11.30am to 2.30pm, with a lunch break. Please bring some lunch to share.
The main presenter will be Jill Gibbs who has recently finished twelve years in Rome as Deputy Director of the Community for a Better World (a group approved by various popes since 1952).
The theme will be ‘Living out the message of Easter’. 

Parish Renewal evaluation and future planning

Prior to the retreat, there will be an evaluation and future planning session for all on Tuesday 21 April at 10.00am and this session will be repeated at 7.30pm.

Our Parish Target

 

Our Parish Target

 

As resolved by the parishioners following the Parish Renewal Program

 

By the end of 2009 all the people of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish Sunbury, through their experiences and through structures of communication and participation, are aware of the value of every person.

 

Explanation of the terms used in the target.

 

all the people: all the Catholics and their families, the parish priest and the religious, those who live within the boundaries and those who live outside the boundaries who choose to make this their parish, different generations, those aspiring to become Catholics, non-Catholic students, staff, and their families who identify with the Catholic schools in the Parish, and all those who choose to associate with us.


through their experiences: not just through words but through what actually happens, e.g. neighbourhood gatherings, personal contact, greeting and smiling, making oneself known to, showing an interest in, remembering other people’s names, being friendly towards, expressing care for, offering practical assistance to, working together in some common action.


structures of communication: ways of decentralising the parish such as area teams, the parish Good News letter, visitation to families, mailings, internet, email, parish web site.


and participation: pastoral care, assemblies, and open parish gatherings,are aware of, have a sense of, get used to the idea of, are awakened to, have an initial realisation of, are conscious of.


the value of every person: respect for the dignity of a person, the worth of each, the uniqueness of each. Continue reading “Our Parish Target”