The Instruction on, The pastoral conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelising mission of the Church, was released by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy on 20 July 2020.
In 1975, Pope St Paul VI wrote that the Church exists "in order to evangelise". This frightened many Catholics, including me! The word “evangelisation” conjures up images of door-knocking, handing out leaflets or preaching on street corners. While these “out there” methods can be part of evangelisation for some, there are many other ways to evangelise. Mine is through music.
Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has identified a need for the Church to remain centred on the simple and beautiful act of accompaniment -- a journey of presence and attentiveness with another on their pathway to discovering God.
How open would your parish be to accepting an invitation from your bishop to give a new initiative a go? Would parishioners be prepared to devote time and energy to it? Would everyone be able to put behind them the old structure of “Father” running the show, and revel in the belief that everyone on the team would be equally responsible for the success (or failure) of the initiative?
The parish, therefore, is a community called by the Holy Spirit to announce the Word of God and to bring new children to the baptismal font; gathered by her pastor, she celebrates the memorial of the Lord's passion, death and resurrection, and testifies to faith in charity, living in a permanent state of mission, so that no one misses the saving message that gives life.
At a young age, Natalia Teguhputri learned about generosity from her dad. She saw how her dad used economic means to help others in ways that respected their human dignity, either by giving anonymously or by empowering them to find their own ways of earning. Natalia, now in her early 30s, has developed a number of initiatives that have brought these lessons to life.
There are moments that mark us for life. At times they are big, important experiences, such as the birth of a child or the realisation that we are in love. But sometimes, they are simple, hidden insights: words heard or silence appreciated.
Every baptised Christian has a vocation. There is therefore no shortage of vocations in this sense, but there is a need for discernment of one’s particular vocation. God has a plan for our life, and in calling us to a particular vocation God provides the gifts to help us fulfil that call.
Qwayne Guevara is a dynamic, Catholic innovator whose personal faith journey convinced her that the key ingredients for getting people together would be the provision of a safe space to hang out, good food and some organised sports. And so, she started the Young Lions Café, and then an indoor sports centre called The Hustle. These ventures have proven to be innovative ways of evangelising to the broader local community.
At the top end of the Archdiocese of Hobart sits Mersey Leven Parish. It comprises six rural Mass centres, with Sunday Mass attendance varying from 10 to 20 parishioners in Sheffield to 140-200 parishioners in Devonport. Tourism occasionally spikes these numbers. The parish sits within one of the poorest socioeconomic regions in Australia.