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28 College Street Caroline Springs, VIC, 3023 | Phone: 03 8361 9822 | carolinesprings@cam.org.au

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PLT Parish Update March 2024

Dear Fellow Parishioners,

I trust that you are all well & that you have been inspired to surrender yourselves completely to all that is asked of you this Lenten Season.

As you have hopefully read in Father Richard’s weekly messages, the Parish Leadership Team, or PLT recently held our planning day, to discern, discuss & plan for the next part of our ongoing journey toward missionary renewal. Firstly, we felt it important to reflect on our progress thus far. As part of that reflection, we acknowledged that communication to you, our parishioners needed some work, particularly in regards to the PLT’s role, its members & ensuring that you are regularly informed of our activities & future plans for the parish. So, in this communication to you, I would like to take the time to introduce the members of the PLT, put a face to our names & explain the core functions of the PLT.


WHO IS THE PLT?

The PLT is made up of the following members of the parish:

Whist we come with various backgrounds, life & faith journeys, unique gifts & talents & indeed opportunities to continue to grow in our faith, strengths & weaknesses, there are a few key attributes we share in abundance. The desire to serve God in building up His kingdom in our parish & wider community is truly evident among us. Our love of God, our catholic faith & our parish community, established & nurtured over the years by many of you, inspires each one of us to build upon our strong foundations to ensure generations long after us also have a place to call home, to heal, to help others, to feel a sense of belonging & a closeness to God that surpasses all their expectations. It is not a position of esteem but rather one of enormous responsibility & one that we are privileged to be given & undertake with utmost dedication.

 

WHAT DOES THE PLT DO?

The PLT’s core function & focus is missionary renewal, to transform us from a maintenance parish to a missionary parish, to find ways to bring the faithful closer to God & indeed the unfaithful to repentance & into an intimate relationship with God – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20).

You might now be asking yourself, how is this achieved? Under the leadership of international coach for missionary renewal Ron Huntley, we have adopted the five systems for a missional parish. As a starting point however, the culture of our parish needed to become one of renewal because the key to parish transformation lies in the transformation of its culture.

‘In 1Samuel 17, we read the story of David & Goliath. Young, inexperienced & seemingly ill-equipped, David stands before a huge giant. Beginning the process of changing the culture of our parish was like David standing before Goliath. There were two possible attitudes when facing this giant. One was to say “it’s too big, there’s nothing we can do”. The other was to say “It’s so big we can’t miss” ’^. What was clear is that if a missionary emphasis does not permeate our parish culture, or if our parish culture supports unhealthy behaviours, our best resources & finest efforts will be rendered inert. Whilst our culture therefore has & continues to be one of the PLT’s first priorities, it must be said that a “culture shift”, to one of renewal, is both challenging & lengthy. We must therefore persevere in our efforts & be patient, with ourselves, with others & with God.

This then leads us to the ‘5 Systems for a Missional Parish’^ & hence the primary focus for the PLT:

  1. ‘WORSHIP – ‘they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread’ (Acts 2:46)’^. Giving priority to the weekend to ensure that our ‘celebration of the Eucharist is a moving & transformative experience that brings people into an intimate encounter with Jesus & with the community around us’^. This is why particular attention & emphasis is intentionally placed on hospitality, hymns & homilies as well as formation relating to the celebration of the Eucharist.
  2. ‘EVANGELISATION – ‘and day by day the Lord added to their number those being saved’ (Acts 2:47)’^. We must have ‘an intentional process which explicitly explains the kerygma & brings adults into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ’^. This is why we offer Alpha & why the Kerygma will be a key focus in Fr Richard’s preaching.
  3. ‘FELLOWSHIP – ‘All who believed were together and had all things in common’ (Acts 2:44)’^. Our parish must be ‘a meaningful community where people are known, loved & supported in their call to holiness’^. Our parish must be like a family with a welcoming community life that instils a sense of belonging. As such, things like welcoming, hospitality, BBQ’s & environments conducive to developing meaningful connections is key.
  4. ‘DISCIPLESHIP – ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.’ (Acts 2:42)’^. Ensuring our ‘parish is a place where enthusiastic followers of Jesus are supported in a lifelong process of growing in their loving and serving of God’^ through strength-based ministries & nurturing our people who already love Jesus and who want more. Regular bible studies, praise & worship, devotions & our leadership summits all serve to nurture a path to discipleship.
  5. ‘SERVICE’ – ensuring our parish has ‘a missionary culture that calls members to service both within the parish andoutwardstothosewhodonotyetbelong’^. Togrowandequipdiscipleswhogooutintotheworldto evangelise and serve.

    And we must not forget & in fact put at the forefront the greatest gift of all, the One we must call & rely upon in ALL that we do…the gift of the Holy Spirit, ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you’ (Acts 1:8). This is why the experience of the Holy Spirit will also be a key focus, to bring the same level of understanding and devotion that we commonly practice toward Our Lord and Our Lady. It is key!

 

As we continue our efforts to shift from a maintenance to missional culture, we will this year continue to hold our leadership summits for ministry coordinators & serving members as well as support them to align their efforts to missionary renewal, develop as leaders & raise up new leaders.

The change to our Sunday Mass times & project for the expansion of our church are also deliberate & intentional actions that will provide the time & space needed to carry out our mission & provide an environment conducive to building meaningful community, support networks, healing, trust & connection. Let’s be honest, how many people that we worship with at Mass every weekend do we really know!

Finally, there is the why. Why do we need to continue on our journey toward missionary renewal? The answers are simple. Our world is in disarray, people & families are broken, people have turned to their own ways, away from God & away from the church. Most importantly God desires so much to extend His mercy & His love to those who truly seek Him & desperately wants all of His children to return to Him. I know this because I was one of them. Passion for Jesus has to be at the heart of renewal! “If we’re going to see the renewal of our Church … we need people who love Jesus with all their mind and heart, who are passionate for him and love his Church, and who want to see people come to know Jesus.” – Fr. Chris Ryan MGL.

The PLT is committed to continuing to provide opportunities for the faithful to continue to grow in their faith or even encounter Jesus (if you haven’t already) in a way they have never experienced or thought possible. In parallel, we are committed to warmly welcoming all peoples to an encounter with Christ, to a place of healing, peace & joy & a love of the celebration of the Eucharist.

It is our hope that our communication inspires to you to consider what role you can play in our journey toward a missionary parish. It is also our intention to keep you better informed via monthly communications on the key activities & areas of discussion & discernment within the PLT.

 

On behalf of the PLT,
Our Warmest Regards & blessings to you all, Ann O’Brien
Evangelisation Coordinator

 

St Catherine Of Siena Parish Mass Schedule

Mass Schedule

Monday:  9:30am

Tuesday: 7:00pm
Wednesday:  9:30am
Thursday:  9:30am
Friday:  9:30am

Saturday: 9:30am & 6:00pm
Sunday:  8:30am, 10:30am & 12:30pm

Reconciliation

Tuesday: 6:00 pm

Saturday:  8:45 am, 10:00 am and 5:00 pm or by appointment if these times don’t suit.