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KOTA KINABALU – Over 300 leaders of groups, communities and ministries of Sacred Heart Cathedral and Church of Mary Immaculate embarked on a reflexive journey together on 2 March 2016 at the parish centre here.
Similar to the briefing for the members of Parish Pastoral Councils (PPC) of the two churches held earlier on January 15, parish priest Abp John Wong presented the archdiocesan vision and mission, followed by SHC PPC Chairman Jason Joenoi on the parish pastoral process since 2000. Youth Coordinator Aline Lim briefed those present on the results of the pre-PAX consultation on critical issues while Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (APC) Chairman Dr Jeffrey Soon presented the pastoral thrust for the cathedral parish.
The above four powerpoint presentations were screened simultaneously in Chinese and Bahasa Melayu for those language groups.
The participants were then grouped in their respective language groups for small group discussion with prepared guidelines in line with PAX. Each group was asked to write down its name, vision and mission of the group, its main activities, its target audience, its critical concerns – whether they deal with PAX critical concerns of Islamisation, secularisation, apathy and other concerns and whether they touch on faith formation, family issues or reaching out to the less involved parishioners.
However, the objective for the night was not for the groups to give their answers straightaway but rather to help the participants to get in touch with the purpose (vision and mission) of their groups so that they could map out a doable and workable pastoral plan in line with the archdiocesan vision and mission to carry out their activities or programmes within their charisms at parish, group and personal levels through the threefold movement of going inwards (“ongoing personal and communal renewal”), going smaller (“a communion of Christ-centred communities”), and going outward (“empowered by the Holy Spirit in the evangelising mission of building the Kingdom of God”) with regular assessments.
The groups, communities and ministries were reminded to involve the youth in their planning and assessment. They were also reminded to reflect on the mercy they have received from God personally and communally and how they can reflect these in their relationships, activities and programmes. In addition, they were encouraged to know the history of their group, parish and archdiocese so that knowing who they are as the People of God, they can move forward in strength and courage as Church.
The timeframe given for this reflexive journey is three months as the next meeting will be on June 25, when they will share the fruits of their planning and strategies on how to move forward together in tackling the common issues.