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While the division of the diocese was being worked out, Bishop Lee began to look into the spiritual and pastoral conditions of his diocese. By then the Church was able to exist peacefully in an identity distinct and separate from the state. However, as the state moved forward in its socio-economic development programmes, new issues and challenges emerged. Being a Church in the modern world, the socio-economic and cultural changes in society also affected the Catholics. If PAX could play its role well in the 1970s, the new situation of the 1980s and 1990s would require a re-look at the whole pastoral approach of the people of God in the diocese. And so starting from the 1992 PAX Assembly, Lee called for a review and renew process for the diocese.

While the calls were made, the Catholic Pastoral Centre (CPC) and Diocesan Pastoral Planning Unit (DPPU) were constituted in 1993 in the diocese to provide the needed “minds” to concretize the review and renew process. The CPC and DPPU attempted to initiate renewal, first by starting from the family (1993 PAX Assembly) and then from the diocesan structure (1994 PAX Assembly) but this top-down approach did not create much impact on the grassroots.

This led Lee to seek outside help in 1995. The expertise of the Southeast Asia Interdisciplinary Development Institute (SAIDI) Philippines was solicited. Fr Manuel Guazon, SAIDI president, came to facilitate the Diocesan Organizational Pastoral Planning as well as the two workshops in 1996 (DPPW I) and 1997 (DPPW II). In the 1997 workshop the diocesan plan took shape and the renewal process in the diocese was concretized in the form of a written document called the Diocesan Organisational Pastoral Plan (DOPP). It was launched on 16 Sept 1997 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in the presence of Apostolic Delegate Archbishop Luigi Bressan and Bishop Cornelius Piong.

The DOPP is to help the diocese to be proactive and guide the new generation of faithful into the third millennium without compromising the Gospel values while being responsive to the developments in the Universal Church through the set up of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences and the Bishops Conference of Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei.

In line with the DOPP the PAX Board of Directors was dissolved on 18 Oct 1998 and replaced by the Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) on 19 Oct 1998. The DPC is a “consultative body under the leadership of the bishop and its role is not decision making but decision reaching.” The parish council is now called the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) and its role is similar to that of the DPC. Its objective is to help councillors to assist the rector and his assistant in the pastoral mission of the parish.

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