BUNDU TUHAN – Almost sixty pastoral leaders around Kota Kinabalu attended their second formation session at the retreat centre here on 4-6 Nov 2016.
The participants came from the two parishes of Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) and St Paul Dontozidon (SPD) and the subparishes of Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang, Our Lady Queen of Peace Kobusak and St John Kopungit.
Dominic Lim of the Archdiocesan Secretariat presented his talk through powerpoint on the nature, role and function of the parish pastoral council (PPC) as laid down in the Code of Canon Law and the norms for PPC in the archdiocese.
According to Canon 536, members of the PPC are to “foster pastoral action and contribute to the mission of the pastor,” that is, to share in the apostolate of the pastor.
Lim said the members’ contributions are done through investigating pertinent issues affecting the parish, reflecting on them and recommending to the pastor the steps that can be taken to meet those issues. The current issues pointed out were apathy, secularisation and Islamisation.
He also touched on the KK Pastoral Thrust (presented during 2015 PAX Assembly) and proposed a three-pronged strategy to carry it out.
Under prescriptive (go inward), the PPC is to find out (investigate) which segment of the community is most vulnerable to which issue; reflect on how best to reach out to them, and which parish groups can be mobilised to help; and finally, to recommend to the pastor the plan of action.
Likewise, the threefold action is to be taken under preventive (go smaller) and prophetic (go outward) strategies.
Time was given to the two parishes – SHC and SPD -to share on what has been done so far to meet the issues since the PAX Assembly. The floor was opened to a Q&A session after the sharings.
The formation session was preceded by a day of recollection facilitated by Carmelite Father Gregory Hon. He led the participants to a deeper understanding of prayer and meditation through some scriptural passages.
Fr Hon exhorted the participants to pay attention to Jesus’ actions, how he dealt with people he encountered such as Simon Peter in Luke 5:1-11 and Zaccheus in Luke 19:1-10. He also touched on the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:19-31).
On hand to help with the confessions were Archbishop John Wong and Father Rhobby Mojolou.
The themes presented by Fr Hon were picked up by Abp Wong in his homilies at the two Masses he presided over.
At the end of the event, some participants expressed gratitude for being able to attend the formation session. They felt that they have been helped to go deeper into their own prayer life as well as having a clearer understanding of the role of a PPC member.