30/8/09 – A Shared Vision

This week, the Liturgy Committee had the privilege of meeting with Fr Stephen Hackett MSC.  Our meeting with Stephen marked another step forward in the process our developing a renovation plan for our church.  We started our conversation by looking at the following quote:

A shared vision is not an idea…it is rather, a force in people’s hearts…at its simplest level, a shared vision is the answer to the question “What do we want to create?”

Peter Senge

While Peter Senge, the man who made this statement, is a university professor in business management, the words ring very true for what we are trying to achieve here in Wentworthville.

It is a shared vision which has seen the Catholic Church survive, grow and flourish over a period of two thousand years.  It is a shared vision which saw Catholics establish a Church here in Wentworthville that grew into a parish community, with its own school and the many diverse ministries its parishioners engage in.

It is a shared vision which will bring our desire to renovate and improve our church building to life.  Many people in our community have ideas on how our church should look, feel and allow us to celebrate.  Many people have shared those ideas with us.  Yet ideas alone will not get us to the destination.

The common desire to create something, the passion and the determination to see it realised is what takes those ideas and makes them a shared vision.  It is what we hope to achieve within our community, and thus lead us forward into the development of our renovation plans.  Keep an eye out for opportunities in the remainder of 2009 and into 2010 where you can make your contribution to the shared vision.

3 thoughts on “30/8/09 – A Shared Vision

  1. I am concerned that Peter Senge becomes the platform of discussion. The man has affinitties of Eastern religion, like Hinduism and Buddhism. He’s a pop culture academic.

    I am very concerned at the movement by some people in the parish packaging the renovation as shared vision. I would be very careful at making such claims. After all given that we can all be swayed by new things and ideas, promises of shared vision is too ominous.


  2. The quote above from Peter Senge was intended to be for us on the committee (and those reading this post) nothing more than idea to ponder. It was certainly not the platform of discussion by any means. Rather, the platform of discussion was the work done by the Liturgy Committee to date, the results of our preliminary consultations with parishioners, and the principles of liturgy and liturgical architecture articulated by the Church since the Second Vatican Council. In any case, the quote is certainly not theological in nature.

    Further, it was certainly not my intention to use this post to suggest that the renovation of the church (at least at this point) is a product of shared vision. Rather, I hoped that it would encourage people to consider what can be achieved when people share common ideals and values. I believe the historical examples I named are appropriate.

    Certainly, it is our hope that parishioners will feel a sense of ownership of, and a belief they have contributed to, the process of renovating our church. We believe that it is an important ideal that we should strive towards. We also realise that ideas that are proposed may not be met by all with mutual enthusiasm, and that discernment, consensus and even compromise are integral to the journey we hope to take.

    What foundation, then, do we base such discernment, consensus and compromise on? Not on the ideas of individuals or new trends tried here or there. Instead, the foundation of our work is the liturgical documents of the Church, composed during, and as a result of the Second Vatican Council. These documents set down the principles upon which any work such as ours should be based. The expertise within our own parish, as well as those of professionals such as Fr Stephen will be invaluable.

    One of the points that Fr Stephen made last Wednesday is that we approach our renovations at a very good time. Many parishes made extensive renovations in the years following Vatican II which they now need to reconsider in the light of experience and hindsight. We can learn from the journeys they have taken as we shape a space that reflects the beliefs, values and vision of the entire parish.

    Thank you for your comments to date and I encourage you to contribute to our discussions with parishioners in the upcoming months.

    Robert Barden
    Liturgy Coordinator


  3. Second Vatican Council is a good platform.

    The danger lies in the view that things had changed regarding ‘the principles of liturgy and liturgical architecture articulated by the Church since the Second Vatican Council’.


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