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Outreach

-Establishing an identifiable brand for the Kitchen, principally to use in fund-raising.
-Planning a fund-raising event and developing fund-raising capability.
-How can we broaden the type of assistance we offer the poor and homeless in the area, and link this to the thinking about social housing?

Michael Parker [email protected]

Spirituality

-How might we deepen, inform and nourish our faith?
-How might we draw on Ignatian spirituality to encourage a group to do the Spiritual Exercises, in daily life, or as a retreat over thirty days, starting later this year?

Caroline Coggins [email protected]

Sustainability

-How might we do a better job of addressing housing and homelessness in the Parish?
-Working with UNSW Architecture students in 2016 to generate a wide range of redevelopment options for our Parish.

Sue Wittenoom [email protected]

Lay leadership

-Responding to Pope Francis’ invitation in Evangelii Gaudium: How can lay leadership respond to the future needs of our parish and community?
-How can this Renewal be accountable to the Parish communities?

Chris Gration [email protected]

 

A Letter from Caroline Coggins

– Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council

Last year I attended the annual gathering of all Australian Parishes. During the days together we were asked to dream our futures: where would we like to be in 10 years?

A number of us from the Parish Council sat around a coffee table and asked some questions. Who were we as a parish? What did we do that shaped us? What we would need to do to keep us alive and vibrant into the future?  We have already a progressive and edgy parish, we are dreamers, we look for ways through, not always orthodox, but is this enough to take us into the future?  How does the community see our future?

St Canice’s feast day marked the start of our year of renewal.  On the very first day of gathering last year we heard many voices on what this Parish had meant and still means to us: a place where an ‘outsider’ could belong; where faith had begun again; a place where they could feel part of a Catholic community that they could identify with, where outsiders are welcome and where all can participate.

What statements, and what a brief for the future! We choose four key structures that we do to give as a base for our dreaming.

The first is spirituality, who we are as a parish, our particular ‘Charism.’ This is the core of the Parish: we are a faith community. We are not an NGO or a corporate entity; we are Christians, coming to this our place to love and worship, as a community. We are people who share our wealth and love, accompanying each other and our broader community, particularly the poor, in whatever way we are gifted.

The second pillar is that we provide outreach services. This is how many identify with us. We are a Parish that is based on the preferential option for the poor through the kitchen and JRS. We collaborate with others to extend our reach such as with Nourish events, the rooftop garden, etc.

The third pillar is our sustainability into the future. What will that look like to sustain what we are doing, while remaining a parish, at core a faith community that serves?  What are our options for the future?  Do we redevelop our site, or try to maintain what we already have? How are we being asked now to fulfil the brief that has been ours for many years, to accompany, provide and look after our community?  How can we best use our resources to look after our common home?

The fourth and key element for the future is lay leadership. How can we as a community go forward? What structures do we need to be able to do this? Governance, yes, but more deeply formation, a desire to take on this responsibility. This is in collaboration with the Jesuits and with Fr Chris as our Parish Priest. We are invited to work together sharing the work of the parish, but again more deeply shaping and forming so that we can take on the tasks to which each of us is called. What is needed?

Our task for the renewal is to go forward deepening our charisma: to be a place where a faith community gathers, welcoming all, where a stranger can walk in from the street and feel at ‘home’, God’s place, Spirit led, responsive to changing needs and always responsive to the deepest needs we all share, acceptance, friendship and God’s love.

If you would like to contribute to one of these groups, please come and speak with us.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Caroline Coggins, Chair Parish Pastoral Council

 

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