On Wednesday the 16th November 2016, a number of parishioners attended a very inspirational evening in the company of around 325 people from across the Melbourne Archdiocese and beyond. The guest speaker for the event was Fr. James Mallon, Parish Priest of St Benedict’s, Halifax, Nova Scotia. (a province of Canada). Highly acclaimed for his work with parish renewal and the New Evangelisation, Fr James shared practical ways to inject new life into parishes. (Refer this account from Daniel Ang, Director of the Office for Evangelisation in the Diocese of Broken Bay, NSW).
Over several years, a discipleship process has emerged at St Benedict’s which has been producing remarkable results. This strategy — the ‘Game Plan’ — is a dynamic discipleship pathway which parishes can develop. Fr. James’ engaging and accessible style challenges us to rethink our models of parish life, in order to become more vibrant and dynamic communities of missionary disciples who proclaim and share the Good News with others. Priests and parishes around the world have been inspired by Fr. James and his team to 'renovate' their parishes to reflect more deeply who we are as Church. His book, ‘Divine Renovation: Bringing your Parish from Maintenance to Mission’ is a compelling read and clearly outlines his experience and vision.
On 16th February 2017, a presentation on the above was given at the Parish Pastoral Council meeting in order to share Fr. Mallon’s vision and discuss the possible application for the future direction of Holy Spirit. Fr. Joe, members of the PPC, Finance committee and others in key leadership roles were present. The proposal to move forward by promoting broad readership of the book amongst all parishioners over the coming months was agreed by those in attendance. Hence the parish renewal project "Renovation @ Holy Spirit-it's Divine!" has begun.
We now wish to involve as many parishioners as possible in order to successfully understand and embrace this new direction. Information will be provided for parishioners at all masses over the weekend Sat 11th & Sun 12th March 2017. Please come along to hear about it for yourself. Progress reports and updates will be ongoing in the Word, the Spirit, School bulletin and on the Parish Website.
The parish has purchased a number of copies of Fr. Mallon’s 'Divine Renovation' book. Several books are already in circulation and more are now available. Please register your interest and we will get a copy to you to read asap and return for someone else to borrow. Also, keep a look out for Divine Renovation Book Groups coming soon. These will provide an important forum to learn & debrief with each other about Fr Mallon’s vision for parish renewal in relation to Holy Spirit.
Finally, we ask all parishioners to please pray for our community throughout this time of discernment about the future direction of the parish, as we seek to follow the guidance of our patron the Holy Spirit.
To find out more about Holy Spirit's renovation go to Renovation @ Holy Spirit.