Parish “Facing New Crossroad”

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Parish “Facing New Crossroad”

By Rev. Fr. Imad Twal – Fuheis

“A Church on the Move” by Joe Parrocki underlines 52 ways to get mission and mercy in motion for building better relationships in and with the Church in the 21st century. The parish of today seeks hope for change in the world. The parish of today is still changing; the parish of yesteryears is gone forever. No longer will a pastor, like the one of my childhood, guide a parish for twenty or thirty years.

Our world and our Church are changing as parishes embark on an uncertain journey. People need hope and assurance that life means more than the superficiality often witnessed in secular society.

Today’s parishes must have a vision and need new directions. Ministerial leaders recognize the parish as a community of people who are called by the Lord to be disciples. The 1983 Code of Canon Law describes the parish as “… a certain community of Christ’s faithful, stably established within a particular Church…” (Canon 515 §1).

I believe that Church leaders especially those working in the parish must take courageous steps in the management of a parish, convinced that the parish of today is totally different from the past. First and most important is to “Think Out of the Box”, to discover and invent with creativity new ways of leading the parish.

I now try to present some initiatives in analyzing and dealing with a parish as if it is mine:

1. Team work: work together with lay people, not as an isolated island, Identify key changes in parish life during the past year
2. Go smell your sheep …
3. Think of the parish as a community of broken people…
4. Identify the social conditions that impact the parish’s identity, needs, mission, and ministry.
5. Yearly evaluation of the parish’s management system
6. Yearly parish celebrations
7. Focus on people’s needs
8. Hospitality and Welcome: Create community, social, and family ambiance in the parish
9. Offer in-depth catechesis and spiritual/religious formation

As parishes bring about the kingdom’s message to a changing culture, they face new and creative challenges. Internal challenges invite parish ministers to be heralds and signs of the message of the Gospel and the Church to an undefined and uncertain future, where people of different ages, backgrounds, and nations become one in their mutual concern for survival, justice compassion and peace. External challenges invite the parish community to simplify the message, look at priorities, and commit to reach out to the poor, the broken and the marginalized in our society.

Now, the more crucial and essential point of the newly emerging parish life is to BELIEVE IN OUR YOUTH. A Church without the young people is a Church without a future. They are the dynamic life of a vibrant Church through their gifts and talents.

In “From Self-Sufficiency to Amazing Grace” Parrocki underlines the importance of today’s parish as “Church on the Move”. Jesus Christ is God’s divine intervention. For a parish to be effective, everything it does and carries out must flow from this principle: we need to move from the illusion of self-sufficiency to recognition and acceptance of God’s intervention, and the amazing grace we encounter through Jesus Christ.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 09:05
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