At its July meeting, the Parish Pastoral Council discussed the following items.
Our parish website is making great progress, and is well-equipped to enable the parish to “evangelise the digital continent” as Pope Benedict puts it. Our challenge is to develop a sticky website — a dynamic website which users visit on a regular basis.
The Parish Council recommends the formation of a parish iTeam, which will assemble a group of enthusiastic consumers of new media — Facebook, Twitter, the blogosphere — to explore how St Mary’s Parish can best engage with a digital audience.
Every parish has a two-fold purpose. Firstly, the parish gives praise and worship to God and enables people to encounter Jesus through prayer and the sacraments. Secondly, the parish extends hospitality and care to God’s people, and enables them to encounter Jesus through friendship and community.
The Council is conscious that we can always improve on our efforts towards hospitality. The Parish Dinner and the Multicultural Mass which especially celebrated our parishioners from Kerela were all well-received.
The hot soup initiative to celebrate Grandparents Day was recognized and encouraged. An annual Parish Dinner is recommended.
Perhaps nametags can be introduced to Sunday Masses, so that parishioners are easily identified and visitors can more easily engage in conversation.
Local celebrations might be a way to revitalize our country centres. We could schedule, for example, a day of festivities at Macarthur, to which all parishioners in Hamilton, Dunkeld, Glenthompson and Penshurst would be in invited.
The Council has committed itself to meeting at rural centres several times each year.
Twenty-five people attended the recent youth group disco, which also received great parental support. The next item on the calendar is to assist with the soup and rolls for Grandparents’ Day.
Fr John Corrigan has started a new programme of training of altar servers. A new roster will be drawn up shortly. There has been a great response especially from our sacramental year group.
Stef Lloyd is preparing a diocesan retreat for upper primary school students. This will be held at the Maryknoll Centre. Later in the year, a retreat for secondary school students will be held at Halls Gap.
Fr Paddy is preparing a letter which will be sent to all parishioners and members of our school community. The letter will emphasise the importance of receiving new Catholics.