Spreading Stewardship movement boosts parish unity.
Stewardship is evangelising while giving Willetton parishioners a unity in purpose in engaging in their faith and the Catholic Church, parish council chairman Simon Bowen says.
Stewardship, the concept of receiving God’s gifts gratefully, cherishing and tending them in a responsibe and accountable manner, sharing them in justice and love with others and returning them with increase to the Lord, has flourished at Ss John and Paul parish in Willetton.
The concept was showcased in all its glory when the community came together once again at this year’s Ministry Fair held over May 23-24, with over 1000 people celebrating and experiencing the creative talents of the parish groups as they displayedd their inspirational ideas and were acknowledged for their commitment of time, talent and treasure.
The Ministry Fair also provided an opportunity for parishioners to discover how they can become more involved in a Eucharistic Community under the pillars of Liturgy, Formation, Prayer, Service and Hospitality, encouraging individuals to use and share their own unique gifts for the growth and well being of the parish community.
Twenty-three groups had a display and another six groups were represented by posters, covering various areas of pastoral ministry, like the St Vincent de Paul and the John Paul Prayer Ministry which meets weekly in an intercessory ministry praying for the needs of the parish.
Other groups include Catholic Adult Faith Education (CAFÉ) and RCIA. Two weeks later the parish has a “Stewardship Sunday”, when parishioners actually have the opportunity to express their interest in joining. The stalls over the Ministry Weekend were for information only. Parish priest Fr Greg Donovan said that Stewardship continues to provide the parish with a vision and strong sense of purpose which was evident by the wholehearted response of the community.
Assistant parish priest Fr Richard Rutkauskas, Fr Donovan and some parishioners attended Stewardship Workshops in Perth and Sydney last year which strengthened their resolve that “Stewardship needs the collaborative ministry of the parish clergy and lay leaders to bring the people to a realisation that collectively, we are Church; that we are gifted by God to be Christ to one another; and that each one has a responsibility in gratitude to live life as God intended.”
Mr Bowen confirmed this. “We are not a parish of several separate groups. Our goal is one and we should continue to pursue that unity of purpose,” he said.
The future of the parish is also in good hands, with youth capitalising on the opportunity for unity. A youth group of about 30 for young people aged 10-14 called BLAST – Believe, love and serve Christ –meet once a month for praise, worship, catechesis and socialising. The John Paul Youth Ministry – JPYM for youth aged 14 up, has also evolved since forming prior to World Youth Day 2008 and is growing in numbers. They gave away showbags at the Stewardship weekend and signed up many potential new members interested.
For more information on the Willetton Stewardship initiative go to www.johnpaulwilletton.org.au or contact Betty Thomson on 9332 5992.