The Evangelization & Pastoral Council held its scheduled meeting last Wednesday at the Caloundra Parish Centre.
The main items discussed included:
- A report was made on the progress of the three pronged pastoral strategy employed by the parish as we slowly emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. (1) Being deliberate in our communication, especially with young families, (2) reimagining the use of technology and being strategic with data and (3) making hospitality a focus this year will help reconnect and reengage parish with parishioners. We’re Eight weeks into the new year and we are still at the early stages of the implementation of our pastoral strategy but the new web page, the launch of the revamped children’s church on a Sunday 14th March, the resourcing of the 5pm Family Mass at Unity, and the community possibilities when the new gathering area is completed at Caloundra are all early signs of positive progress. A better assessment of the pastoral strategy will be possible at the next meeting of the Council.
- The new Catholic school proposed for Aura has been delayed by one year and is now due to open in 2024. While Brisbane Catholic Education is still well advanced with its planning our Parish, also needs to be engaged with the development and make a deliberate investment so as to have a presence in one of the fastest growing population areas in Australia. As a Parish we are exploring several options including the purchase of land that will ensure into the future a church and pastoral presence. This will require a long-term financial commitment from our Parish. Over the next ten years the population of our Parish and the Sunshine Coast as a whole will increase dramatically. The implications of this population increase will put pressure on our pastoral resources and will change the physical face of our Parish Family.
- The challenging financial position of our community was discussed and the realization that any commitment to the fast growing population areas of our Parish would have a serious impact upon the resources of our community. It was acknowledged that through the generosity and commitment of members of the parish we have come through the Covid pandemic with a sense of optimism and the Council was fully appreciative of the sacrifices and generosity of each and every member of our Parish Family.
- The five new members of this year’s NET Team have now moved in to the former Caloundra Convent and have begun their ministry. Last year’s NET Team were directly affected by the lockdown caused by the pandemic which restricted most of their ministry to Unity College. With more flexibility in 2021, this year’s NET Team has ambitious plans not only for Unity College and OLR primary school but also within the wider community through the development of junior and senior youth groups, supporting the young family Mass at Unity, and the music ministry and children’s church at OLR among other activities.
- A positive response was received from parishioners about this year’s Lenten Mini Mission which was led by Fr Richard Leonard, sj. Many parishioners accessed the sessions via live streaming. Ensuring that both the costal and hinterland communities could be part of the Mini Mission was appreciated. Planning is now underway to ensure a retreat master for next year’s Lenten Mini Mission.
- Members of the Evangelization & Pastoral Council received a copy of the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) from the Archdiocese of Brisbane. The comprehensive document traces the history of the process, states the support of the Archbishop and the Archdiocesan Agency Executive Directors and maps out a vision and timetable for the RAP’s implantation. Members of the Council agreed to take the RAP material and reflect upon it in preparation for the next Council meeting while at the same time endorsed the proposal to provide education leading up to NAIDOC week when, as a united Parish Family, we will celebrate the next practical step in our community implementation of the Reconciliation Action Plan. It is hoped to have copies available at all communities of the Archdiocesan RAP as soon as possible.
The next scheduled meeting of the Evangelization & Pastoral Council is on Wednesday, 2nd June at 5pm.