Our first Parish Recollection took place last Saturday, 21st January with 36 participants from the various ministries and BECs. The session commenced at 9 am and ended at 12.15 pm with input, group discussions, individual sharing and silent prayer.
For the benefit of those who did not attend, let me give a brief overview: I began the session by explaining how our Vision for 2017, “Towards Strengthening Our Faith Community” came about. The two-year mission which we started in 2015 focusing on the family and 2016 on BEC and Mercy have led us to set our plans and to strategise our vision for this year. The journey of this last two years has made our parish more vibrant and strong in faith.
I went on to elaborate briefly about our community prayer which we recite after the Prayer of the Faithful during our weekend Mass. When we recite this community prayer we are reminded of our four commitments in materialising the vision of our parish. During the session we only discussed the first commitment on “Deepening Our Prayer Life” and the importance of prayer.
Alan Jong continued the session by developing on the parish vision by using various biblical texts mainly from the St Paul’s letters. He invited the participants to read the texts and to share on a personal level. After his input and individual sharing we had the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and invited everyone to reflect in silence for 30 minutes. I believe this recollection has helped our participants to reflect on the parish vision for the year 2017 and the individual commitment in enhancing his/her spiritual life.
We have formed a New Evangelisation Ministry under the Parish Coordinating Council (PCC) led by Alan Jong. He and his committee will be in-charge in coordinating various formations, activities and events in our parish.
Our parish monthly recollection has been introduced for the first time in our parish. As we have stated in our year planner there will be another 7 more recollections including a parish retreat which will be held in the coming months. I hope more leadership positions in the Church will be taken up and parishioners will participate in the upcoming recollection sessions and retreat.
My dear parishioners, I would like to bring to your attention the first commitment on “Deepening Our Prayer Life.” Jesus was a Man of prayer and he had set as an example the important of prayer. Below here are few of the biblical texts show us the priority Jesus gave to prayer in His life ministry.
- “Jesus prayed during 40 days of fasting in the desert”, (MT 4:1–11).
- “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed,” (MK 1:35).
- “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed,” (LK 5:16), (MK 6:46).
- “Jesus prayed after the 72 disciples ??? returned from ministering in surrounding towns,” (LK 10:21–22).
- “Jesus prayed in Gethsemane before His death,” (LK 22:41-44).
As we journey together with this year’s vision I hope and pray that every member of our parish will be committed towards reaching out to those who need Christ, growing in faith and being more grounded spiritually.
Fr. George Packiasamy.