With Hearts Burning – Module 3

DRAFT  With Hearts Burning

Summary of Module Three

“How do we Listen”

St Mary Star of the Sea Gisborne May



Below is a
collation of responses provided by five discussion groups representing the
comments from approximately forty people involved in the parish

possible the actual words reported have been used and comments with similar
wording have been included together.

A number of
very specific and detailed suggestions because of their length have not been
included here but are held in their original form and are available for viewing
and discussion.  

The original
reports are held for reference.


committed are we as individuals to silence, listening to the word of God and to
reflection and discernment of God’s will? How do I encourage others to sit in
silence, listen to the word of God and discern?

·       At Mass it’s easier to listen to the
word of God and to reflect quietly. Sometimes we can sit in our church in
silence. Life is busy and we don’t take time to reflect.

·       Students at school need constant
stimulation and unable to reflect well. Prayer during RE classes, retreats,
meditation in classes, nature reflection are opportunities for reflection

·       Did you ever have highlighted that
Jesus listened?

·       How do we listen?

·       Why do people turn away from the
Church/God –nobody listened.

·       Silence is God’s first language



How do I encourage others to listen to the word of God and


·       Listen to God whispering in the
quietness of your heart. Don’t expect to receive an obvious answer.

·       Discipline oneself to just sit in the
presence of God

·       Experiment with different forms of

·       Invite people to Sunday adoration, meditation
group or prayer groups

·       Silent reflection from old and new
testament, St John of the Cross, Mother Theresa, Pope Francis


 What are
the forums we have to break open the word of God together so it becomes a
living reality in all we do?

·       Prayer groups, Meditation groups, St
Vincent de Paul, Legion of Mary, Schools, Men’s Group, Marian Family Group,
Community Lay Ministers, Josephite Companions, Lay Marist Group,

·       Renew (some years ago), Life in the
Spirit, Winter Series, Parish gatherings, CWL, Boy’s breakfast group, Masses,
School masses.

·       TCI courses in Gisborne and on line.


How can
we enable parishioners to hear the testimony of other parishioners

·       Respectful dialogue at parish

·       Cup o tea after masses

·       Small group encounters .eg With
hearts burning.

·       Sacramental programs, Visiting
hospitals and rest homes

·       Make yourself available to listen to


How is
respectful dialogue encouraged? What are new ways we can enable respectful
listening to others?

·       Suggestions come through PLT.

·       Negative feedback is hard to hear

·       Encourage constructive criticism


What are new ways we can enable respectful listening to

·       Suggestion box in foyer

·       Awareness of the impact of Clergy and
religious in forum discussion

·       Having an open mind and being
prepared to change.

·       On line presence – Facebook page.
Texting and emailing parish event reminders.

·       Have open forum to be willing to be



How do I
react when I feel I have not been listened to?

·       Shut down – won’t participate in
parish life resulting in lost opportunities for all concerned

·       Keep going.  Don’t give up. Reflect
on our approach. Are we talking with the right people?



How do we
make provision to sit and listen to those who have left or are leaving our
faith community?

·       Being hospitable to others over a cup
of coffee so they get the listening part.

·       Being open to questions. Being
non-judgemental and supportive.

·       Gently inviting and reminding people
they are welcome

·       Don’t preach.


Question Seven

In our
schools how do we listen to the faith story of new students to tailor their RE program
(This response from a study group within the school)

It can be
very difficult when we have students who have little understanding of any faith
background. They are blank canvases and just beginning their faith journeys.
The young ones are very receptive to learning. Bringing new Year 8 to 13
students to the church, some follow up would be good.


As a
parish how do we create opportunities to listen to young people or families who
don’t come to Mass?

·       Recognition of the merciful God in
contrast to the old notion of God

·       Advertise in newspaper and school

·       Parish and school masses

·       Marian Group reaches out to families

·       Boy’s breakfast group and Youth group
reach out to young people.

·       Need for more social functions eg
Parish picnics, Quiz nights,

·       If a suggestion is of the Spirit it
will come about.


Do we as
a parish have an ear for those in the wider community? How aware are we of the
needs and struggles in the local community and how do we respond to these?

·       We are very in touch with the needs
of our community through structured organisations eg St Vincent de Paul and a
wide range of individual people actively involved in social action in the
community eg Lunch for Schools, Rotary, Training organisations, Preschools.

·       Response is by our Parish community
who are very generous with practical, financial and prayerful support.


forum does the leadership of the parish (lay and clerical), school and groups
within the parish and/or collegial area have to meet and to share and to hear
each other’s projects and problems.

·       Parish Leadership Team

·       Boards of Trustees and Parent support
groups in the schools.

·       Very available and presence of
priests in the schools.

·       The Star – Parish Monthly news


Saint Teresa
of Calcutta wrote: “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and
restlessness. God is a friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers and
grass – grow in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun how they move in
silence. We need silence to be able to touch our souls.”


 Summary Statement Module 3 from Men’s


Parishioners reflect our modern society.
If there is a problem we throw gold at it. Examples: we are asked to give money
to buy flowers rather than being asked to bring flowers! We pay people to clean
our churches and to tend our grounds. Do we ask parishioners for help?

Do we have working bees? Do we have Parish


Fair enough, but do people want to be
involved? Are parishioners prepared to give up their time to sweep out the
Church? Is there a falling away in volunteering? (St. Vincent de Paul have been
struggling to find drivers).

Is it true that modern parishioners don’t
like making commitments?


How do we reach out to the troubled? How
do we respond to people in Kaiti and Elgin? Are we locked within our comfort

The situation there is not OK. We must not
shy away.