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To serve as Salt of the Earth and Light of the World

TANJUNG ARU – The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) and Parish Finance Council (PFC) of Stella Maris Parish here ended its term on 30 June 2018, paving way for election of new PPC members by way of nomination from the parishioners.

The parish priest informed parishioners on the importance of participating in the nomination of candidates for the various roles and how the PPC/PFC play a role in helping the parish priests in executing parish tasks.

After the dissolution of the PPC/PFC and other ministries, an Ad-hoc committee was set up to oversee the incoming nominations as well as to help in conducting interviews with those shortlisted candidates.

All PPC nominees for 2018-2021 were given a formation talk at the Home of Hope by Fr Peter Abas. At this formative session, Fr Peter Abas explained the nature of the PPC’s role and how the “Pastoral Council” came into existence from the previous “Parish Council”.

Fr Peter Abas focused on three common questions:

  1. Why me, Lord? Negative self-implication! There are many other people better than me.
  2. What makes me be chosen? Positive notion! Lord, only you know who I am. But still, you chose me.
  3. How do I look at myself in this ministry that I am supposed to take? There is no right or wrong answer.

The distinction between Parish Council and Parish Pastoral Council was explained further; Parish Council is like an institution – waiting for people to come, while Parish Pastoral Council focuses on pastoring, shepherding, moving forward and coordinating. In a nutshell, the PPC should always be planning and coordinating, to assist the parish priests in the pastoral mission of the Church in the parish.

The presentation concluded with a Gospel verse taken from Mt 5:13-14, “the Salt of the earth” and “the Light of the World” and a special prayer.  As the new PPC, Fr Abas said, “you must continue to serve as preservatives, stopping the moral decay in our sin-infected world.” Fr Peter Abas quoted James Heller, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”. He reminded the new PPC that if you light the other life with Love, Happiness and Peace, then God is there to light your life with divine gifts and blessing.

Sr Bernadine, a nominee, related her anxiety on her competency and her tasks, and found her answers in the formative talk. She can now move forward to accept her calling to serve the Lord as a PPC.

Petrus Augustine, who is serving for a second term, together with his wife Sylvia Jenneh appreciated the formative talk which has cleared their many questions.

The new PPC 2018-2021 was installed on 25 Aug 2018 during the Sunset Mass by Msgr Primus Jouil, followed by lighting of candles and reciting of pledge of service. Fr Abas reminded the new PPC to be loving, kind, non-judgemental and humble in serving the Lord and others. – SOCCOM SMP

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