It was a momentous event for Church of St. Joseph to see the support of 80 parishioners for the annual Parish Pastoral Assembly 2022. The Parish Pastoral Council together with the Parish Coordinating Council worked hand in hand, supporting the initiatives of the Parish Priest.
The theme for 2022: Salt of the Earth and Light of the World: Communion, Participation and Mission, in Synodality called to live in communion, active participation through discerning, achieving our mission for the people of God. We were blessed to have the presence of His Grace Archbishop Julian Leow to grace the event together with Fr. Eugene Benedict, the API Director, Fr. Frederick Joseph, our Parish Priest and Msgr. James Gnanapragasam.
The assembly began with the Synod Prayer, followed by the opening address of the PPC Chairperson, Gabriel Moses. He expounded on the process taken by the Parish Planning Team in deliberating the Areas of Concern in preparation for the Study Day. He highlighted the key tasks involved in gathering and analyzing the responses that led to finding the root causes for issues emphasized. The four key AREAS OF CONCERN outlined for the Parish Pastoral Plan:2023 were COMMUNITY, COMMUNICATION, LEADERSHIP and FORMATION.
The SYNODAL SPIRITUAL CONVERSATION conducted by Fr. Frederick, ignited a moment of discernment in reflecting the scripture text on Road to Emmaus. The break-up session of 12 groups led by facilitators was fruitful with the unexpected conversations that directed the parishioners to review the current issues that needed immediate attention and action. The three rounds of Synodal Spiritual Conversation created a unique method of parishioners highlighting their concerns amicably and constructively for the attention of the Parish Priest and their leaders. Finally, the parishioners were entrusted to chart the Parish Pastoral Plan:2023 through the large group sharing that was truly noteworthy.
The assembly then had the opportunity to listen to Archbishop Julian Leow’s address that highlighted his appreciation for the youths who confidently shared their views and concerns in emphasizing the key take aways for adults to ponder and reflect. His Grace also shared his aspirations for the diocese and the way forward for Pan Malaysia 2026. Finally, Fr. Frederick wrapped up the assembly with his parting words and blessings.
At this juncture, we would like to thank Rita Krishnan, the Coordinator for PPA, who journeyed with the team over the three sessions, from the briefing of the guidelines, conducting the Study Day and today, being part of us in the Parish Assembly. We also appreciate the assistance rendered by Fr. Mitchel Anthony, in helping us with the deliberation and planning process. The Parish Pastoral Assembly ended fruitfully at 5.30pm.
By Gabriel Moses
Photos by John Bosco Morais