- Published: Wednesday, 08 May 2019 14:37
From the Director
The year 2019 is now well advanced, but greetings to all as we continue on the path of life, where we will have new experiences and new challenges.
Before last Christmas those of you who have regularly attended Lay MSC meetings will have received from me a copy of my latest booklet, A vision Restored, being a history of the Lay MSC in Australia. I hope that you found it interesting. My thanks to all those who contributed a small donation to help defray the cost of publication.
We live at a time in history when the Catholic Church is searching for a new relevance. The Plenary Council which has been called by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference to meet in 2020 may well meet this objective. The Numurkah Lay MSC group made a fine submission to the preparatory group.
When we think and pray about what the Church should be like, I am reminded of an excellent statement made many years ago by Cardinal Franz Kung I repeat it here for your own reflection:
The Church of Christ must be
An inviting Church
A church with open doors
A warming, motherly Church
A church of all generations
A Church of the dead, the living and the unborn
A church of those before us, those with us and those after us.
A church of understanding and sympathy, thinking with us, sharing our joy and sorrow.
A Church that laughs with the people and cries with the people
A Church this is not foreign and does not act that way
A human Church, a Church for us
A Church that like a mother can wait for her children
A Church who looks for her children and follows them
A Church that visits the people where they are, at work or at play,
At the factory gate and at the football stadium, and within the four walls of the home
A Church of those in the shadow, of those who weep, of those who grieve
A Church of the worthy, but also of the unworthy, of the saints and of the sinners.
A Church not of pious pronouncements, but of silent helping action.
May God’s blessing and love be with all of you in 2019.
Jim Littleton MSC
Adelaide Archdiocese – Parish Handover
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 flavor 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.”
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 program presented to the Archdiocese for renewal.
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 parish’s document are primarily drawn from the Gospel and Tradition. They are not additional burdens added to our ordinary life and duties, but just a focused 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.
From then on, the groups discussed various questions presented to them. Finally, they shared some of their conclusions with the whole group. The meeting concluded with a shared meal.
Noel Mansfield, MSC
PLENARY COUNCIL 2020
RESPONSE FROM THE MSC (Missionaries of the Sacred Heart) ADULT FAITH GROUP, NUMURKAH
1. What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?
a) To be a Church connected to the local community.
b) To be an inclusive Church where all men and women of good will, who desire to be part of the Universal (Catholic) Church, are welcomed to belong.
c) To be a Church:
ü focused on, and judging itself in reference to, the two foundational commandments which guarantee human flourishing:
“… ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart …’.This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hand all the law and the prophets.” (Matt 22: 36-40)
ü always mindful of and act according to the conditions upon which is based our eternal life:
“… for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink … I was in prison and you visited me. … “ (Matt 25: 34-46)
d) To be a Church which implements transparency and good governance in every facet of the Church’s activities
e) To be a Church imbued with the Apostolic Tradition, that is, referring back to the roots of Christianity
2. What questions emerge about the future of the Church in Australia from your listening and dialogue encounter that you would like the Plenary Council to consider?
(a) Optional celibacy for ordained ministers (who would be financially independent) given the fact that there are presently many married priests and that the Church has a much longer history of married clergy than not.
(b) Review the Churches understandings of priesthood in the light of the early Church tradition and practice.
(c) Review Canon Law more regularly or, perhaps, rescind totally in favour of the two foundational commandments upon which the whole law and the prophets is based (Matt 22: 36-40), so as to respond to the times and cultures.
(d) Appointment of non-clericals, especially women, as Cardinals.
(e) Every Parish to establish Parish Strategic Plans or Pastoral Plans, which would provide for performance reviews of the Parish community leaders and good governance? (Refer to “Melkite Catholic Eparchy, St Joseph Melkite Parish, Pastoral Plan and Calendar 2015” Page 4 - “Third Objective” – see attached)
(f) The content of the training and formation given to those aspiring to be leaders of Catholic communities, to include people management, management of finances and assets, and, skills in communication, unless in the near future these aspiring leaders will not be expected to manage people, finances and assets.
(g) Encouragement and facilitation of ongoing adult faith education in every Parish and Diocese.
3. Do you have a story of your experience of faith, life or the Church which you would like to share with us?
The story of the MSC Adult Faith Group is one related to a desire to better understand our faith in Jesus and the Church and to gain a community connectedness.
This was taken away from us in our local Parish community due to clericalism whereby the structures already in place and working well in providing inclusiveness and adult faith education were disapproved.
Many who wanted and needed ongoing nourishment in their faith understanding and practice gradually came together. We now meet monthly (weekly during Lent) to support each other in fellowship and in our faith development. We are given wonderful support by the MSC’s, in particular by Jim Littleton.
Despite our difficulties and obstacles we remain faithful Parish parishioners striving to work with everyone in our Parish so to that there is joy, commitment and energy in living our lives as Christians.
Lay News March 2019 – Fred Stubenrauch
In past issues of the Lay MSC News and Ametur there have been articles about the development of the National Council of the Laity of the Chevalier Family.
This initiative is in response to the decisions taken by the gathering of people in Brazil in 2017.
At that meeting a set of”General Guiding Principles and Statutes of the Laity of the Chevalier Family” were approved.
On 4th March 2018 at a symposium of members of the Chevalier Family at St Marys Towers it was proposed that a steering committee be set up to respond to the Guiding Principles.
Since that time a committee consisting of Fred Stubenrauch (Chair), Therese Poulton, Ellenmary Lomman, Jan Clarke, Jenny Missen, Paul Compton, Paul Stinson and Aidan Johnson has met seven times to develop a proposal. Since our original meeting we have been most fortunate that Peter Carroll msc has been able to join us.
This year we sought the wisdom of Moya Hanlen and Tim Brennan who both are Canon lawyers. Their wisdom helped us make some important changes.
The proposal has been sent to the three Provincials for their consideration and hopefully, approval.
Our proposed schedule includes seeking nominations from you for people you think would be enthusiastic about joining the work of the National Council.
We would like to have the members from a wide range of apostolates associated with the Chevalier Charism.
If you would like a copy of the proposal sent to the Provincials please email Fred
Gathering in Fiji 2020
The General Secretary of the Laity of the Chevalier Family, Alison McKenzie, has written with some wonderful news. She is proposing a gathering of lay people to meet in Fiji 2020 in conjunction with the APIA meeting scheduled for that time.
This sounds like a great development.
Alison’s email reads:
We are in the very early stages of planning the first regional gathering of Laity in the Asia/Pacific region. We are hoping that it can be in Fiji at the same time as the next APIA gathering of the MSC next year. Fr Tamati MSC Provincial, Fiji, has not yet informed me of the date but has said he agrees with the idea. Numbers will be strictly limited as there is very limited accommodation. We will be saying one
person of influence from each country. I will get more details and pass them on as soon as I have them but could you begin the discussion about these two issues
Ancilla White FDNSC writes to let us know about a couple of opportunities
“Come aside and rest awhile.” Jesus
OLSH ASSOCIATES’ RETREATS AT HARTZER PARK IN 2019
Sr Dain Mary olsh will be giving two retreats at Hartzer Park this year for members of the Chevalier Family – each on a different theme. You are invited to join one or both. As there is now a lift at Hartzer it is easy of access to all. The dates for these retreats are:
Friday evening 17th May – After lunch Sunday 19th May
Friday evening 18th October – After Lunch Sunday 20th October.
A reminder that a donation of $10.00 per address per year would be appreciated to assist in the production of this Newsletter. The donation can be sent to Fr. Jim Littleton, PO Box 84, Dickson ACT, 2602.