A new Parish Priest arriving into a Parish can be the source of curiosity, irritation, nervousness and indifference. What's he going to be like? Is he approachable? Is he a traditionalist or progressive? These and a lot more are the kind of questions asked amongst congregations. Some feel they have a monopoly on the correct version of the answer while others think it best to wait and see before forming an opinion. Some have offered me very solid advice in their answer to question 24 in the parish questionnaire. Others have left this question blank.
One asked if I had a vision for the Parish? And the answer is I do, and I think by sharing this vision with you today in the newsletter might help you to understand where I am coming from and to which end I am leading you towards. Once we have finalised the three Eucharistic Communities (Masses), then I will set about forming Leaven Groups from within each of the Eucharistic Communities. (Masses). Leaven acts as an agent to give rise to the dough. These Leaven Groups will consist of heads from the various Ministries that function within each Mass - e.g. Ministers of the Eucharist; Readers; Greeters; Stewardship; Music; Children's Liturgy Catechists; Youth; Sacramental Preparation Catechists; Liturgical Environment ; Liturgical Artists; plus about 4 others as suggested by the Community. These will be your representative from within your Mass as to how you want the Mass celebrated. They will meet together once every 6 weeks with me and all aspects of their Mass (Eucharistic Community Celebration)will be constantly reviewed. You will be informed who these individuals are that make up each Leaven. Their face pic will be publicly available for you to see. You will be informed in advance when the Leaven groups are intending to meet so that you can bring your observations/suggestions/preferences and criticisms to any member, to be raised at the Leaven group Meeting. The Leaven members will go out amongst their community and bring in as many as possible into active worship. It's almost like each Mass will have its own mini Council.
Then from among the three Leaven Groups, representatives will be elected to sit on a Parish Pastoral Council with a few extra names added by myself. This Pastoral Council will meet once every two months and be co-responsible for the Pastoral direction of the Parish. It will be as multi representative of the entire Community as possible, reaching out to all sub communities within our overall community. It should number about 40 persons.(Continued next page)