Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, an Australian community, in a worldwide religious congregation.
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We work to discover through advocacy, healing and reconciliation, God's presence in our world.
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- Published: Sunday, 24 March 2019 22:32
HINDMARSH PARISH, MSC SOON TO HAND BACK TO ADELAIDE ARCHDIOCESE
Noel Mansfield MSC, part of Hindmarsh parish, has sent this report on a meeting about the handover. He titled it,
People Renew Their Own Parish
On Saturday, March 2nd, 2019, about one hundred parishioners gathered to discuss and decide on the future of the Sacred Heart Parish of Hindmarsh Findon. The whole flavour of the meeting was to stress that every process was being kept out in the open so that it would be transparent to all.
The process began when we, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC), announced that we could no longer provide priests to serve the parish.
Instead of the parish falling in a heap and wondering what to do, some parishioners took the ball and ran with it. They saw it as an opportunity to renew their parish. They enthusiastically took up the challenge. They wanted their parish to survive. They were not going to fall in a heap and walk away.
This group reached out to other parishioners whom they knew were of the same mind-set. Over the past few months, they have met on regular occasions. They wanted to reach out even further. They called a meeting of interested parishioners. This was the meeting that took place on Saturday, march 2. It is only the beginning of the process.
This first meeting was held at Findon. There they have facilities that are needed for such meetings.
It was chaired by Tania Cavaiuolo. She began the meeting by reading a prayer for the Ghana people, the traditional custodians of this land on which we held the meeting. After a short greeting of the people gathered, she handed over to Narita Perrotta.
Narita assisted the members of the gathering to come into contact with their inner being. We were asked to allow the Spirit of God to speak to us and be with us throughout the day.
Then Mary Hemmings reminded us of the Parish Vision which had been composed a number of years ago. It is still at the head of our Weekly Bulletin.
“As a people who believe and trust
in the love of God for us,
revealed in the Heart of Christ,
we live out this love
in a welcoming and inclusive community
that provides life-giving support and service
to all people.”
She completed her contribution by widening it out with a comment from Pope Francis’ “Joy of the Gospel.”
Father Bill Brady, the Parish Priest, presented a summary of the theology on which the parish is based. In this he made particular reference to Bishop Vincent Long’s comment: “I firmly believe that were on the threshold of renewal of the priesthood. Like the Wedding Feast of Cana, the wine of old has served the Church well but it is running out. He old way of being a priest has served the church we love. But that model of the exalted, separated and elite priesthood is drawing its last breaths, at least in many parts of the world, including Australia.” As it is with the old model of priesthood, so it is with the old model of parish where the priest ran the parish and the people simply turned up for mass and sacraments. “Pray, pay and obey” was the model of church we grew up with. That has to change.
Some further points raised by Bill were:
- There is a paradigm shift within the Church and within ourselves
- Vatican 2 named the Church as the ‘People of God’…all of us have gifts that we bring to it
- Clericalism stifles the gifts of the other baptised
- Threshold of renewal: Old wine running out
- Time to demythologise priesthood
- The community has the right to take ownership of the parish and to be part of its governance: to use your gifts, to serve NOW
The final speaker was Fr Philip Marshall, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Adelaide. He was asked to make his comments on the last two of the points in the programme presented to the Archdiocese for renewal last year.
Our renewal is about renewing our parishes and communities by inspiring ourselves and them in the fundamental tasks of the Gospel. The eight marks of renewal outlined in the renewing parishes document are primarily drawn from the Gospel and Tradition. They are not additional burdens added to our ordinary life and duties, but just a focussed way of articulating them. They are reminders of what we are doing or need to be doing.”
Then he went on to elaborate on the last two marks of parish renewal.
We ae meant to be communities:
#7 Who form, encourage and coordinate the variety of gifts and charisms the Spirit gives to each in most effective ways
#8 Who support and preserve the life of every viable community of disciples, even if they are small.
In connection with these points, he raised the following.
- We are all in communion with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- In Jesus we see that all are drenched in love: woman to be stoned, tax collector…
- The parish is a communion of the baptised. We need to be such that people look at us and think “that’s’ something I want to be a part of”
- The ministry of a priest: We as priests are ‘appointed’ by you as the people. It is a ministry of service. Together we are all instruments of an orchestra, with each of us having a part to play to ensure that all are in tune…. all have a voice
- We are in a time of uncertainty, of great change
- Unable to name clearly at this time what will be in place in Hindmarsh – Findon Parish…. the Diocese will work with us as a Parish over the coming months.
From then on, the groups discussed various questions presented to them. Finally, they shared some o their conclusions with the whole group. The meeting concluded with a shared meal.
Noel Mansfield, MSC