20/6/10 – Report on Guiding Concepts Meeting

Church Renovation ProcessLast weekend, our parish held a second meeting with liturgical advisor Fr Stephen Hackett MSC to continue the work of our Church Renewal Process.  A good number of people were in attendance, and we thank those who came along and took part.

The purpose of this meeting was to begin the development of some guiding concepts for the project.  These concepts would form the parish’s own contribution to a design brief.  A design team will take our guiding concepts, as well as the existing plans of the building, relevant church documents, and diocesan and government policies.  Their task will be to develop a plan for our church building which not only meets the various requirements for church buildings, but also reflects our unique nature, beliefs and values as the parish of Wentworthville.

With this in mind, people began to identify areas of need within not only our church building, but within our broader parish community.  Those present were then invited to work in groups (based on their particular topics of interest) to consider these needs in greater detail.  Groups then reported back to all present on the fruit of their deliberations.

The topics discussed covered a range of needs within our community, including Liturgical Ministry, the Disabled and the Elderly, Building and Facilities, Community, Inclusion, Mission, Spirituality, the Liturgical Environment, Finance, Children’s Liturgy of the Word and Devotional Prayer Spaces in the Church.

Over the next few months, a committee formed of members from the Liturgy Committee, Parish Pastoral Council and participants at previous renewal process meetings will take the large amount of data collected and formulate these into the guiding concepts.  Once a draft has been produced, it will be presented to the Liturgy Committee, Pastoral Council and all parishioners for feedback and comment prior to completion.

Thank you again to everyone who supported the meeting and shared their ideas and hopes for our community into the future.

13/6/10 – The Whole Body of Christ Celebrates the Liturgy

This weekend, our parish is having its second meeting with Fr Stephen Hackett MSC in regards to our Church Renewal Process.  We will be working together to develop guiding concepts to inform those who will work on developing plans for our church.

This work, as Fr Stephen informed us at our last meeting in March, is underpinned by some key liturgical principles.  Over the coming weeks, we will explore each one in turn.  Let’s take a look at the first one now.

The whole Body of Christ celebrates the liturgy

Liturgical celebrations are not private acts.  Every liturgical celebration is a public action of the Church.  Even celebrations where there may be few “regular parishioners”, such as baptisms, weddings or funerals are considered by the Church to be public celebrations.

So who celebrates them?  Is Mass something which the priest celebrates and we observe?  The Second Vatican Council very clearly disagrees with this.  In the past, we may have had a sense that we couldn’t see or perhaps even understand the priest, and thus he celebrated or “said” Mass in our presence… or without us present if he so desired.

The Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy stated that the liturgy is celebrated by the entire body of Christ – that is, by Christ and his Church.  That means that all of us gathered together celebrate the liturgy united in and with Christ.  Through this, the Church becomes the sacrament (or symbol) of unity.  This means that we represent through signs that we can perceive with our senses our belief that the liturgy unites all of us as members of the Church.  It is the Church that calls forth and ordains ministers to serve as leaders of the liturgical celebration.  Both the priest and all of us gathered together to celebrate the liturgy make Christ present amongst us.

6/6/10 – Play Your Part Next Sunday

Church Renewal ProcessNext Sunday, the process of renewing our parish church reaches an important turning point.

For most of the past two years, we’ve spent time coming to understand why there is a need to undertake this renewal process.  We’ve learnt more about how the Catholic Church celebrates the liturgy since the Second Vatican Council.  We’ve learnt more about how and why the design and architecture of modern churches is different to the older churches that we may be used to seeing and praying in.

Next Sunday, we begin the process of preparing plans for the renovation of our church.  The first step we will take on Sunday is that of having parishioners prepare Guiding Concepts for the project.

These guiding concepts will be given to an architect.  The architect will use them, along with the guidelines provided in Church documents, to prepare a renovation plan that meets our needs and reflects what we believe and value.

When parishes engage in renovation projects, some parishioners can be dissatisfied with the end result.  This is often because they have not made the effort to have their say during the process, to make sure their voice is heard.

This meeting is the opportunity for you to play your part in the planning process.  Every parishioner has the right to, and needs to have their say.  Don’t put it off and hope there will be another time to share your thoughts and ideas with your fellow parishioners and our planning time.  Now is the time.

More details can be found on the flyer attached to Carmel.  If you are coming along, make sure you register your attendance on the sheets in the parish centre today.

We look forward to seeing you next Sunday.

Fr Paul Sireh OCarm                                                           Robert Barden
Administrator                                                                        Liturgy Coordinator

9/5/10 – Next Church Renewal Process Meeting

Church Renewal Process, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, WentworthvilleDuring Lent, we continued with our Church Renewal Process by having a consultation meeting with parishioners.  A good group of interested parishioners learnt more about the reasons for the process and the principles upon which any kind of church renewal work is based.

As our Liturgical Advisor, Fr Stephen Hackett MSC, explained to those in attendance, another meeting would be held in the following months.  This next meeting will be held on Sunday 13 June, so we suggest you mark this date in your diary now.  Fr Stephen will facilitate this meeting once again.

The purpose of this meeting is to work on developing some Guiding Concepts for our church renewal work.

Guiding concepts are essentially statements of principles and values which our parish community consider to be of utmost importance, particularly in relation to our church building.  The meeting will provide opportunity for parishioners to make their contributions, which will then be drawn together into clear and concise statements.

This work of drawing together and writing will be undertaken by a specially-formed working group. It will be comprised of some members of the Liturgy Committee, but also of other parishioners who have not been directly involved in the leadership of the Church Renewal Process.  Their work will then be brought back to parishioners for review and agreement.

This is another opportunity to make your contribution to the Church Renewal Process.  It is another opportunity to share what you believe is important about our parish community and the building in which it worships.  Make sure you keep 13 June free.

Are you coming to the meeting?  Make sure you contact our Parish Office now so we know to provide lunch for you!

7/3/10 – Church Renewal Process Meeting

Church Renewal Process LogoNext weekend, our Church Renewal Process takes another step forward.  A parish meeting will give us all the opportunities to explore the possibilities for shaping our church into the future.

So far, we have:

Our meeting next Sunday will be lead by our liturgical advisor, Fr Stephen Hackett MSC.  After a short review of the process so far, we will start to look at the suggestions made by parishioners so far, as well as the liturgical and theological principles that form the basis of any church renewal project.

Part of this meeting may also give us the opportunity to set some priorities for the renewal of the church building.  Our intention is that over the remainder of this year, a formal design brief can be developed that will articulate exactly what we envisage for our church into the future.

Once again, this is your opportunity to make your contribution to the process of renewing our church.  Make sure you send in your reply so we can have lunch ready for you!

Remember that you can keep track of the church renewal process at www.olmcwenty.org.au/renovation