Parish Mission Research to make a difference to your work
Last week Some considerations of Parish Mission Parish Mission Research projects Small research project More on The Ideal Parish? Research Methods What precisely you are being asked to do Beginning the process of doing it! This week
What is your mission? What do you aim to do for the evangelising mission of the Church through the work you do? Write a concise (max three sentence) “Mission Statement” for your own ministry
It is essentially the parish which gives the Church concrete life, so that she may be open to all. Whatever its size, it is not merely an association. It must be a home where members of the Body of Christ gather together, open to meeting God… The parish institution is meant to provide the church’s great services: prayer in common and the reading of God’s Word, celebrations, especially that of the Eucharist, catechesis for children and the adult catachumenate, the ongoing formation of the faithful, communications designed to make the Christian message known, services of charity and solidarity and the local work of movements. 25th January 1997 Ad Liminavisit of French Bishops
Parish is where: Principles become practices; Body of Christ is open to God, the Holy Trinity; The Churches services are provided: Prayer Sacraments Catechesis Evangelisation Service of Neighbour (Charity and Solidarity) A Community where God’s gifts are received, and where the baptised generously make their response of faith, hope and love to the call of the Gospel
A Philosophical/theological interlude The ‘Ideal’ Ethics: Universal principles or values which one pursues as goals Plato: The non-material abstract true forms which the things we directly perceive are but shadows
A Philosophical/theological inerlude The ‘Ideal Parish’ Ethics: Universal principles or values which one pursues as parish goals? The general vision which inspires specific action Plato: The non-material abstract true forms of Parish? That eschatological culmination of Christian Community
No Sacraments Constant Presence of the Lamb No committees No social problems No Catechesis No Parishes!
No Parish is ideal : living as an alien: temporary dwelling in exile, Pilgrim All Parishes are local not universal All Parishes are specific not general Specific geographical territories Specific collective of peoples, community of faith Specific location in time and history Specific needs, possibilities and priorities Play the hand you are dealt
One Non-ideal Parish Shadows of the ideal Priest (Bishop) celebrates Mass (nearly) daily, visits sick, hears confessions, contacts with schools, teaches, represents the Church at Public events, etc., etc. SITS ON TOO MANY COMMITTEES No deacon(s), no ‘Parish Sister’, no Lay Pastoral Worker Finance Committee and Parish Pastoral Council Trained Catechists and helpers: Children’s Liturgy, First Communion. Confirmation, RCIA No one except PP for Baptism, Marriage Prep Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Sacristans Parish secretary/parish office Cleaners, flower arrangers, handymen etc. SVP and parish visitors/befrienders NO PARISH CLUB
One Non-ideal Parish Shadows of the ideal Justice and Peace: FairTrade, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Eco-Congregation Prayer Groups: Meditation, Rosary, Charismatic No Liturgy group or faithful preparing prayers of the faithful Regular Small faith sharing groups and adult formation Ecumenical and Inter-faith Churches Together in Hatfield folded 2009 Local Community Forums and Volunteers APF Local Secretary and International Solidarity No Evangelisation team. Limited number of people willing and able to do important things Youth Provision Difficulty in Parking
Parish in Canon Law CIC 515 §1 Certain portion of the Christian faithful Stably established entrusted to a Pastor Can. 517 §1. When circumstances require it, the pastoral care of a parish or of different parishes together can be entrusted to several priests in solidum CIC 518 General rule is to be territorial Can. 526 §1. A pastor is to have the parochial care of only one parish; nevertheless, because of a lack of priests or other circumstances, the care of several neighbouring parishes can be entrusted to the same pastor. CIC 528 §2. The pastor is to see to it that the Most Holy Eucharist is the centre of the parish assembly of the faithful.
Parish in Canon Law Can. 529 §1. … a pastor is to strive to know the faithful entrusted to his care. Therefore he is: to visit families, to help the sick, particularly those close to death, to seek out the poor, the afflicted, the lonely, those exiled from their country, and similarly those weighed down by special difficulties. He is to work so that spouses and parents are supported in fulfilling their proper duties and is to foster growth of Christian life in the family.
Parish in Canon Law CIC 529 §2. A pastor is to recognize and promote the proper part which the lay members of the Christian faithful have in the mission of the Church, He is to cooperate with his own bishop and the presbyterium of the diocese, also working so that the faithful have concern for parochial communion, consider themselves members of the diocese and of the universal Church, and participate in and sustain efforts to promote this same communion.
Parish in Canon Law Can. 535 §1. Each parish is to have parochial registers Can. 536 §1. If the diocesan bishop judges it opportune … a pastoral council is to be established in each parish Can. 537 In each parish there is to be a finance council Can. 781 Since the whole Church is by its nature missionary and the work of evangelization must be held as a fundamental duty of the people of God, all the Christian faithful, conscious of their responsibility, are to assume their part in missionary work.
A Parish: Is a Community of Christ’s faithful In a particular territory With a Pastor Who celebrates sacraments Visits Connects to wider Diocese and World Church Encourages lay ministries and supports Bishops and other priests Has Finance Committee (and Parish Council) Keeps records Is missionary Parish in Canon Law
Some New Testament Concepts Koinonia Communion Participation in Divine and human Community Fellowship Liturgy Diakonia Service of neighbour of church of world Kerygma Proclamation of the Good News Making new Christians
What do you want from your research? What context/situation needs examining? What is the background in existing thinking (literature review etc.) What information do you want to find out? What learning are you seeking? What questions do you need to ask? How do you need to ask them?
Some useful tools There are many organisations and businesses offering online surveys Many will offer a limited free basic service (and hope customers will be so impressed they subscribe) www.surveymonkey.com www.smart-survey.co.uk www.surveymethods.com www.thesistools.com And others