With Hearts Burning – Module 4



                 
             
With Hearts Burning

Summary of Module Four

“Accompaniment”

St
Mary Star of the Sea Gisborne May 2018

 

Introduction:

Below is a collation of responses provided by several
discussion groups representing the comments from over 80 people involved in and
with the parish. Wherever 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.

Prayer

Question One:

A.In our communities, how do we teach
prayer as opposed to saying prayers?

 

·      
Through
groups that meet for prayer e.g. Marion groups, Legion of Mary, School retreats,
Meditation group, Life in the Spirit, Parish retreats, Parish prayer and
reflection days,Adoration.

·      
Children
learn prayers by wrote in school. Schools have meditation as part of their program

·      
Comment:
In Mass, Prayers of the Faithful often begin with “we pray for….” i.e.
God is distant rather than e.g. ‘Loving God, we ask you…” which is more
relational.

 

       
B. Opportunities given

·      
Occasional
Prayer Day offered in our parish. More offered by other local churches e.g.
Anglican & Presbyterian in which many Catholics participate.

·      
Retreats
not offered locally however brochures put out in church foyer advertising same throughout
NZ. Especially Kopua and Ngakuru

·      
Schools
offer retreats for their students

 

2a
What on line resources have we found useful?

·      
Sacred
Space

·      
Scripture,
spiritual and theological input (Youtube) from writers who are ‘tried and true’
in terms of exploring authentic Catholic beliefs and doctrine

e.g.

Richard Rohr OFM

Joyce Rupp OSM

Joyce Meyer

Joan Chittister OSM

Jean Vanier CC

Fr Henri Nouwen

Sr Macrina Wiederkeher

David Whyte

·      
Lectionary
and Breviary

·      
Catechisms

2b
How to make them accessible
?

·       share sites via word of
mouth; advertise in parish newsletters &

The Star; invite others to come together to
view Youtubes

 

2c
How to discern if an appropriate resource?

·       If recommended by those
known to follow accepted theology:

e.g. Priests, Religious, DRSs, RE office,
Caritas

 

2d
How to use the resources to journey together:

·      
Meeting
over a ‘cuppa’

·      
Through
the ‘Winter series’ sharing

·      
Small
groups meeting within the community

 

Scripture
& Education in the faith

 

3
How is Scripture Study promoted?

 

It
is not promoted on a steady, continual basis however the following do occur

Men’s group (Saturday)

Visiting Scripture scholars

Small groups within the parish

 

4
How to work together to enhance further growth in faith?

By
creating opportunities for fellowship e.g.

Parish
picnics

Sunday
young family group gatherings

Progressive
or potluck meals

Cultural
gatherings / shared meals

School
liturgies

Parish
missions

Creating
Prayer Moments in the day – a brilliant initiative in our primary school

 

Community
at Mass & beyond

 

5a
What is the welcome like in our parish
?

·      
Not
bad but could be improved upon

·      
Current
welcome by Hospitality group & cup of tea gatherings are great

·      
Greeting
of visitors at beginning of Mass currently by priests and parishioners
informally

·      
Meeting
of people new to the parish after Mass

 

5b
Extending welcome beyond the parish
?

·      
Ecumenical
gatherings x 4 per year (at least)

·      
World
week of peace

·      
Visiting
done by St Vincent de Paul and Legion of Mary

·      
Ministry
to the Sick and housebound

·      
Visitations
by Fr Jack are appreciated and have a big impact

·      
Young
people visiting young people has had an impact

·      
Social
visits – just to meet up and talk

·      
Talks
over the back fence

·      
 

6
How can we revisit parish visitation and make it a priority
:

 

·      
Currently
a priority for our priests, religious and some parish groups eg Vincent de Paul
& Legion of Mary.

·      
Gap:
Follow up of those ‘new’ to our parish community.

·      
Gap:
Follow up of those newly baptized or received into the church people/ families

·      
Perhaps
create meeting/ reunion times for Sacramental group families e.g. Friday night
fish & chips etc

 

7
How can the parish better accompany our priests:

 

·      
Firstly
ask them what does ‘accompaniment’ mean to each of them and secondly

·      
what
form of accompaniment do they want from us.

? do they receive accompaniment via regular
Spiritual Direction?

? do they receive peer accompaniment via
regular Deaconate forums

Possibly receiving some via designated parish
teams e.g. Leadership; Finance; Pastoral teams.

Also via their connections with school and
parish groups

 

Summary
Statement Module 4 from the men’s group

 

There is so
much Godlessness in the World. Society doesn’t promote God any more. Anti-God
factions are getting nasty.

We as a
Church cannot be passive anymore. We need to be in the firing line

.We need to
take the media back.

.We can’t
allow society to be controlled by people who are clearly quite Godless in their
values.

Mass is no
longer a social event. People are now come out of conviction. Numbers at Mass
are dropping but the Church is ‘growing up’. (cf Ireland)

 

Look to our
youth
.

How do we
measure success as a parent? Do our children live by good principles? Are they
hard-working? Do they include God in their lives?

We must
walk the walk with them. We must keep being an example to them- chip, chipping
away!

We have to
walk beside them without being too pushy.

Every young
person is unique and will need different approaches to others.

There is a
fine line between guiding and coercing. But we mustn’t put up the white
flag!Our Catholic Schools are popular because they stand up for values which
parents long for their children to embrace. They shape children to be caring
and socially generous. Catholic teachers give our children positive role-models
and in some cases are wonderfully inspiring.

Catholic
Schools cannot instil the Faith if there is no faith already. But they are
excellent at complementing and deepening what the parents have already
instilled.

 

Adult
Education

We have an
excellent Parish Library. But few use it.

Our Star
Magazine is a valuable teaching resource.

There is a
need for Scripture Groups to be formed and for parishioners to be at home with
the Bible.

 

Summary
Statement Module 4 Ministry of Accompaniment from Campion College

 

1  Prayer

Parish newsletters – many retreats for the Parish are advertised
here.

RE Classes – formula for prayer student involvement and special
intentions.  Rotation of prayers for intentions. Litany as well. Communal
Prayers are taught.  Not just praying, but teaching about praying.

Resources for students are provided for students and staff for
prayers.  

For the Staff – we have a day at the beginning of the year for
staff to learn about and reflect on important issues; TCI paper or retreat.

Retreats are provided for students.  Bi-annual retreat for
staff started in 2016

Time for staff PLD in ‘What is prayer’?  Could be a good
idea. Perhaps Father Jack could assist.

Breakfast group on Thursdays . Prayer is role modelled and boys
are learning prayers.  Sense of God.

BOT meetings start with prayer focussed meetings.

Bishop Denis loves to do retreats.  Perhaps we could ask him
to do a retreat.  Bishop Denis ran a great retreat for the Deacons.

Prayer is a fantastic form of communication.

 

2.              
Online Prayer Resources

We need to be discerning in the type of resources we present.
 Especially working with young people. (Boys).

Catholic Online is a good resource

Vatican Website

Marist Sites

Faith Central has a compilation of great resources

It is good to share resources with others when we find something
that works well.  We could publish links in the parish newsletter/school
newsletters and/or email staff about interesting and engaging websites for
prayer.

Prayers printed in the Star could be a great idea.  Karyn to
make a suggestion for a ‘prayer for the month’.  Parishioners could submit
prayers for the STAR. Students could submit prayers also.

Parish Website is a great resource.  We are trying to raise
the profile of the

Prayer book could be an impact project for a student.  We
will talk to staff at the College about this.

Could we be streaming Catholicism?  Capturing a market? The
live stream for Pa Yvan’s Requiem was fantastic.  Could we live stream
more Masses.

 

3.              
Scripture and Education in Faith

 

How is Scripture study promoted within our community?

 

Scripture Study Groups on Thursdays in the Parish Centre at
7.00pm.  It is a small group at present, but hopefully this will grow. It
is led by Deacon Mike or Jim Langer.  At present examining the Gospel of
Mark. Perhaps it is a good idea to promote the study group at upcoming Masses.

TCI papers are offered for staff at the College and for
parishioners.  Often these papers have a scripture focus.

Senior students at the College are taught Scripture, at Level 1
NCEA.  Is Scripture more important than some of the topics that we teach
at present in the College?  Perhaps we should we revisit the senior topics
that are taught. Perhaps we could look at what is being taught at St Mary’s to
get an overview of how we are teaching Scripture.

4.              
How can parishes and schools work together to help families to
pass on the faith to their children?

 

We could have post-box type forum for parishioners to ask
questions about faith.  This could be email or physical.

St Mary’s School have a termly Mass.  This is a great way to
draw in families.  College Masses and Liturgies are always advertised in
the newsletters but not many people come.  There could be a few reasons
for this.

Breakfast group for boys – asking fathers to join is great.

Sacramental Programme – Family meetings are held.  Good
communication with whanau.

Total Person Goal at Campion as part of our graduate profile is a
good way to bring families on board.

Catholic Social teachings, especially stewardship need to be
centred in Christ.  

If we get enough interest for a student study group Deacon Mike
would be happy to run it.

 

Community at Sunday Mass and Beyond

 

5.              
What is the welcome like within our parish?

 

Perhaps information about visitors to the Mass could be passed on
to the Priest just before Mass so that we could welcome them.

The foyers lends itself to gathering before and after Mass.  

Sometimes we can stick to what is safe and what we know.
 Sometimes it can be a good thing to sit in different places for Mass.

The Marian Family Group is being advertised in the school
newsletters and on Facebook.

 

6.              
Parish Visitation

 

Our Parish Priests do a lot of visitations within the Parish and
up the coast. At least 5 visits per week.  Deacon Mike also visits
parishioners. Quite often people will come to Deacon Mike and ask him questions
especially at his place of work.

Some parishioners visit people with the priests.  This is a
very positive practise.

There are some groups which operate within our community in
visitation.

Mission group visited many families.

Filipino group visits during Christmas times.

 

7.              
How can the parish and school better accompany their priests?

 

The general feeling is that our priests are very well looked after
by our parish, that they are accompanied well.

Some staff seem to be scared of the priests.  Lovely to see
the priests in our schools. Priests don’t feel isolated or awkward.

 

Summary
Statement Module 4 Ministry of Accompaniment from St Mary Star of the Sea Maori
Group

 

Teaching
Prayer

Prayer is about
having a conversation with God.  Some parents and our Catholic schools
teach our children the traditional prayers of our Faith.  Prayer should be
an informal conversation with God which does not need to be part of a ceremony
but can be a public expression or a private one. We feel parents have often
advised their children to pray to God about something that is important to them
and will often guide them to petition God.  The tools are there but are
not often used until a crisis arises. Prayer is often a problem solving
exercise – asking God’s intervention when one is stuck when making choices.
Being Thankful is an important prayer to be encouraged.

3/4
  Scripture and Education.

The background
information to the scriptures given in the Homilies is informative and
valuable.  We are lucky here in our church that our priests impart such
background knowledge through Scripture groups, informal conversations and in
the Homilies. For many the Homily is the only time they hear this information.
 We feel our parish has been given ample opportunities to explore the
background knowledge to scripture.

5./ 6
 Community

Our church
community is welcoming and inclusive.  People stand around and catch up
with or without a cup of tea.  We have all been to Mass in other
communities which are less welcoming and  Mass appears to be a duty done
for the week.

A suggestion that
we parishioners can be more inviting of the lonely , the new by inviting to a
coffee morning, or a meal in our homes or a buddy assigned to new arrivals to
help them settle and be included in the church community.  

Know your street.
 Get to know and mix with people in your street then go further afield.

7.
 Accompaniment of the Priest.

Having two
schools only here has made it easier for children, their parents and teachers
to mingle with the priests. Weekly invitations to morning tea, visits to
classrooms to talk to children means children help their parents actively
engage within the parish. Supporting our priest when there are ecumenical
gatherings with other churches, and including our priest in the various
functions of the schools and communities and of course inviting them into our
homes.