There are two key parts to the life of our Community, our mission and our reason for being.
One is to be a place where God's love revealed in Jesus Christ is proclaimed and where every person can come close to God - a place where they will find love, reconciliation, hope, belonging and a glimpse of the Kingdom of God. A place where they can worship God in spirit and in truth.
The second is to be a community that reflects God's hands and feet in the world - a gathered group of people who love unconditionally, particularly to those most in need. It is a great honour to be part of a parish that does both of these things with great grace and goodness.
Community Life at Holy Spirit Parish
We are tremendously lucky having many wonderful volunteers who so generously give of their time and talents to do this work for Our Lord and in turn help me in my role of Pastoral Worker.
In the role of Parish Pastoral Worker at Holy Spirit I have had the honour of working with many of our parish families in preparing, planning and execution of funerals. This valuable ministry gives comfort and strength to those grieving and I also offer follow up visits to recently bereaved, when time allows, for them to know that we care about them and for them to sit and share their stories.
Many of our parishioners are also going through the transition of moving from their family homes into Retirement Villages, Units or Nursing Homes which increases home visits due to illness, infirmity or not being able to drive. In many cases through the kindness of others, we provide driving rosters so these parishioners can still attend Sunday worship. Many ill in Nursing Homes or at home receive weekly visits provided so well by our Sunday Communion Ministers who give up their Sunday mornings on a monthly roster to serve our people. Fr. Joe celebrates monthly Masses at Gracedale Nursing Home and Cherry Tree Village, which also includes private visits to those who are not well enough to attend these Masses.
I myself have a roster of parishioners of whom I visit regularly with Eucharist due to the Sunday roster being at capacity. Hospital and home visits to those who are ill, lonely, depressed or struggling with life issues is also a very busy ministry within our Parish.
At times in our lives, we all have crisis and Holy Spirit Parish offers care, love and support to everyone in the parish who asks for our help. Many parents from Holy Spirit Community School come to our door when life becomes too difficult for them to handle and we spend time with a listening ear and we try to find resources for them to tap into which can help them with their problems.
Spiritual and religious issues are often part of a quest for a deeper meaning of life and an understanding of self, so time is spent with parishioners to help them journey through their times of doubt.
Home visits to new parishioners, meeting their families and being made welcome in their homes is a wonderful part of Pastoral Care and I pray that this continues to increase so we can build on the community of Holy Spirit.
I feel that it is most important that we need to keep working hard at approaching more people to help with parish pastoral care, as the demand is certainly much greater than the resources we have. We all must constantly reach out and empower others so that we continue to build on enriching this community and keeping the spirit flowing.
Thank you for the support I receive. Peace and blessings.
Tina Toomey, Parish Pastoral Worker.