At its first meeting of the year the Parish Pastoral Council welcomed two new members: Felicity McNeice and Ryan Greer. Both Ryan and Felicity bring a range of high level skills and experience to the Council, particularly in the schools area, and they are warmly welcomed.
The Council reviewed progress towards the goals we all agreed to in 2017 at our Parish Assembly. The Parish committed itself to five key areas of work: Social Justice, Community Building, Evangelisation, Fundraising and Youth and Young Adults. Overall, our assessment is that we are tracking well in achieving the goals we set, and this was reflected in the excellent submission from the parish to the Plenary Council. It involved many parishioners, covered a lot of interests and reflected the priorities of a large, multicultural parish. However, as the parish grows, changes and develops, the PPC can see that some of our
activities have to be reworked. For example, while the Youth Council has given a welcome voice to our young people of school age we believe that the young adults ministry has not been going well and we have put it in abeyance for twelve months while we try to build youth participation from the ground up. The appointment of Kyla Velasquez for this task is most welcome.
Our fundraising activities got off to a great start with the Disaster Relief appeal and reflects a tweaking of priorities towards social justice and community building. The PPC is committed to full reporting on the spending of monies for this purpose and will report throughout the year. We have decided not to have a big Christmas fete this year. Instead we will put on an ecumenical Christmas Carols event. We will still have the Multicultural and Games Evenings to celebrate our parish’s giant spirit of community and we will run a big raffle in the middle of the year as our major fundraiser. The priorities of the PPC this year will be largely practical as we will be building the grotto, starting the renovation of the church, offering practical support to our bushfire victims and building our relationship with our schools.
The Plenary Council submission from Holy Spirit is now available on the website for parishioners information. The multicultural night was considered a success albeit numbers down from last year, total money raised was $2449.15
Bernadette Mikita was appointed as the successful applicant for the position of Event Coordinator and will assist in running the Parish Fete and Trivia night. The TV has also been set up in the hall to be used on weekends and major events in the liturgical year. The Youth programs are gaining wonderful momentum and numbers of attendees are increasing. The Council also approved its policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable People which is now available on the Parish website.
The Parish Pastoral Council has met twice this year and welcomed Dilu and Joachim Motha to its membership and farewelled, with great thanks, Jenny Grierson. Our four schools will now be represented on the PPC, in turn, by each of the Principals; Brad Gaynor from Holy Spirit Primary is representing them through Term 1. The Council has decided to establish a Youth Council as a sub-committee of the PPC to give a voice to the young people of our Parish (18 years and younger); and it is seeking an event planner to plan, co-ordinate and run our functions and fundraising efforts. We also plan to introduce a
Parish Application for our smart phones to download the Bulletin, and be reminded of Masses, Parish functions and special events and Mass rosters. The Council collated the input from parishioners and prepared a Parish submission to the Plenary
Council (to be found on our website shortly) and has decided that future membership will occur by calling for nominations from the Parish body. It is currently developing a policy for the handling of complaints of abuse of any of the children involved with the Parish. Any enquiries to Alison Weeks: .
The last two meetings of the PPC have been concerned with both principles and practicalities. The principles related to the best ways of growing and enriching the Parish and the development of a submission to the Plenary Council in answer to its question: what is the future of the Australian church? Comments, opinions and discussion to Steve Seesink at: . The practical side of discussion has covered the broad range of suggestions the Council has received through the suggestion box (please keep them coming) and how we can act to fulfil these requests. For example, there will be a second, lower holy water font in the foyer and the Apostles’ Creed will now be flashed up on the screens during Mass. A full report is on the parish website: www.holyspirtigungahlin.org.au. The council is renovating the church street sign to make it more visible and is considering an electronic sign in the longer term. The Welcome to Mass ministry will be revamped to emphasise warmth and welcome to all. Finally, the PPC reiterates its determination to continue and enhance the wonderful support the Parish and its schools extend to the St Vincent de Paul, especially in the run-up to Christmas
The PPC held a special meeting recently to consider the implications for the Parish of the Plenary Council 2020 and the Joy of the Gospel Parish Renewal course. Council decided that the Parish should make a submission because the decisions of the Bishops in Council will influence the future of our religious practice. While there are any number of worthy topics to take up, the Council decided that a short, focused submission would be more effective. It identified the areas of Liturgy and Music (covering modernisation, approved options available and multicultural influences); effective governance and roles for women; and the clergy (recruitment, marriage and seminary training). Steve Seesink will take consultations forward within the Parish; please contact him on: While the PPC considers that the Parish is still maturing rather than ready for renewal, it decided to review our strategic goals to ensure they properly reflected the Archdiocese’s three components of a thriving Parish: good community, good teaching and preaching and good music. Council will take further steps towards openness and transparency and will develop better relationships with Finance and Schools committees. It will foster and support regular ethnic community Masses and experiment with a broader range of music. It also decided to appoint a communications advisory group to advise on the most effective ways of reaching the broadest range of local Catholics. Finally, it acknowledged that the Youth and Young Adults Ministry required a fresh approach. Enquiries to Alison at:
The Council warmly welcomed Steve Seesink to its membership. Steve is the Parish convenor for MenAlive. The last month has seen a lot of activity of strategic importance to the Parish. Consequently, the PPC is holding a separate meeting to consider our response to the Plenary Council and it’s draft report and an Archdiocese course on parish renewal which we attended. At its regular July meeting the Council discussed the state of the mini-Vinnies program in our schools and decided to make further enquiries. Council welcomed the many entries in the Suggestion Box and a list of the suggestions and actions taken will be available on the parish website with a summary in the Bulletin. The new bus timetable was discussed because it misses some of our schools including Holy Spirit. All are encouraged to let the government know the problem through its consultation page: Results of the strategy meeting will be in the mid-August Bulletin.
At its meeting this month the Council reluctantly accepted the resignation of Sharon Kirkwood with a deep appreciation of her work for the Parish. Council warmly welcomed Theivani Evers, who is already known to many parishioners. As a member of Council she will continue to focus her energies on the Music Ministry and Young Adults. The Council agreed to attend the Leadership and Mission course: “Joy of the Gospel”, being run by the Archdiocese and to invite others who were interested. It also discussed the Parish’s approach to the many topics which will be considered at the Plenary Council 2020. After receiving a letter from a parishioner suggesting improvements to the parish’s communications, Council recommended that the church sign at the front gate be replaced and that the sound system be re-configured as soon as possible. Next Parish function will be a bingo and games night after the school holidays. Council has now established a suggestion box in the church foyer. All opinions will be considered and welcomed.
At it’s May meeting the Council accepted the resignation of Anne O’Connor and thanked her for her fine efforts on behalf of the Parish. It accepted the evaluation report on the Multicultural evening and will take steps to reduce queuing at future events and simplify the entry charge.
The confirmation candidates were to be invited to help with Pentecost celebrations and an organisational chart is being developed for the web-site. Children’s liturgy coordinators may use school classrooms when numbers require it.
At its April meeting the Parish Council welcomed Diana Jones to its membership. It congratulated the organisers and all participants in the Multicultural Evening in March and asked Pradeep Sornaraj to conduct an evaluation of this iconic Parish event. Council approved the social committee’s recommendations that we have a Bingo/Trivia night, a raffle and an open air Christmas market over the rest of the year. It also agreed to experiment with the location of the Children’s Liturgy to make the children more comfortable.
The Parish Pastoral Council met on 14 February and agreed to establish a Social Justice Group in the Parish (Alison Weeks); it also decided to re-constitute the Social Committee to devise and run our functions and fundraising activities (Anne O’Connor). The involvement of teenagers is encouraged across all appropriate ministries (Maureen Hilton). The Council accepted the resignations of Michael Gregory, Mary Louis and Jacinta Bonaventura and thanked them sincerely for all they have done for the Parish. Alison Weeks was appointed as Chair and Jenny Grierson as Secretary.
Enquiries to Alison Weeks