At the end of 2017, the Parishioners of St Joseph’s Church set our Parish vision – “Committing Ourselves to New Evangelisation” for three years (2018-2020) with three pastoral priorities as our Parish missions. We laid our Parish vision and mission primarily to nurture, to renew and to make us grow in faith and holiness as one people of God. Every year on the last week of the liturgical year (34th Sunday in Ordinary Time), several of our committee members set a day and time to review, revise and re-examine our Parish vision, mission and pastoral priority so that our Parish always moves ahead in the right direction.
I am grateful to all of you for your collaboration and commitment towards our Parish vision and mission. Each of you has contributed and shared your life, gifts, talents and love in the service of the Church as true stewardships. These past two years, we have been faithfully working hand in hand to make sure we carry out our Parish mission and pastoral priorities on “Empowering Transformational Youth” (2018) and “Engaging in Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Dialogue” (2019). Now, we are at the threshold of our third strategy plan, which is “Embracing the 5Ls” – (Lost, Last, Least, Little and Lonely) in the year 2020.
On Saturday, 23 November 2019, about 10 of us from the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) and Parish Coordinating Council (PCC) came together once again to put our values and objectives into our Parish mission and pastoral priority for the year 2020. Keeping in mind our three years’ vision on the work of evangelisation, we started with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Morning Prayer (Lauds) and an hour of silent adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Then we discussed, shared, and established the values and priorities, focusing on the “5Ls”. After 3 hours of praying and reflecting, we drafted our final mission statement for the year 2020: “As disciples of hope, we, the Parishioners of St Joseph’s, are sent forth joyfully to embrace, to care for and to heal the Lost, Last, Least, Little and Lonely.”
Our Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur has chosen a theme – “Sent with Joy to Heal” for the year 2020. We have merged the above theme with our pastoral priority on the “5Ls” together with the values – embrace, care for and heal. The Lost, Last, Least, Little and Lonely are broken people and in need of healing. As a part of an evangelising community, we must always be on the frontline in contributing towards greater justice, peace and love for others.
Pope Francis says, “The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel,” (Evangelii Gaudium [EG] – The Joy of the Gospel, #114). As disciples of hope, we must constantly be ready in bringing the love of Christ to others in any place – on the street, town, work place and be available to those in need. We need to get involved by words and deeds in people’s daily lives in order to bridge distances – to embrace, to care for and to heal them. It is our duty to defend the rights and dignity of those who are poor by listening to their cries and to treat them as our brothers and sisters, (cf. EG no. 199).
Our encounter with the “5Ls” must not only involve listening, but more importantly being one with our fellow brethren. We should always strive to enrich our faith, strengthen our vision and mission and make the difference. Let’s commit ourselves in the spirit of New Evangelisation through our ministry of teaching, encouraging, reaching out and praying for the “5Ls”, regardless of race, status or faith. May we have a blessed and holy Advent as we prepare for the Nativity of the Lord!
by Rev. Fr. George P.