“Stand up and feel the Holy Spirit, find the power of your faith.”

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The above lyrics come from a song called I Believe, sung by Andrea Bocelli and Katherine Jenkins. I have absolutely no doubt that these words resonate with all 520 people from 66 parishes in our Archdiocese who attended the Parish Alive Leadership Training for newly- elected PPC members on Saturday 19 November. The power of the Holy Spirit was tangible in the crowded hall, from the call to service with the words of Tagore in the Opening Prayer:

I slept and dreamt that life was joy I awoke and saw that life was service I acted and behold, service was joy

until five hours later, with the final prayer and exhortation from Bishop Sylvester as he sent us out to serve our parishioners.

As a member of one of those Parish Councils, I would ask all who were there: Did you feel it? At what moment during the morning did the Holy Spirit take over your listening and your discerning? Was it during that Opening Prayer, when we entreated God of our journey towards missionary discipleship, remind us that you are near? Or when we fervently recited the Adsumus prayer together? Or was it when Archbishop Brislin gave us the wise advice to keep our eyes on the stars and our feet on the ground. Or maybe for some it was in those packs of food handed out by willing, happy young people and enjoyed by all, when we were told to save all the packaging for recycling and be sure to eat the apple cores! But for me the defining moment was when we began formulating a vision for our parish together with our whole Pastoral Council – a great moment indeed!

But in this regard, the presence of the Holy Spirit began more than a year earlier, in the heart and mind of Fr Zane Godwin, when he called on a group of us to serve on a CPD Leadership Team with him. I am blessed to be part of this team (and proudly wore the T-shirt on Saturday!) with like-minded thinkers, each contributing our gifts in conjunction with the CPD staff in re-working the Archdiocesan PPC Statutes, meeting regularly to plan and put into effect a CPD Structure, Vision and Training Programme which culminated in our Parish Alive initiative.

Our journey towards missionary discipleship is just beginning – and what a great start it was! Let’s watch this Parish Alive space and continue to answer the call of Jesus – “I come to bring fire to the earth and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49)

The kindling has indeed begun!

Alison Dunn
Chairperson of St Ignatius Pastoral Council and Member of the CPD Leadership Team

See pics of the Parish Alive training day at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1IA-3gMhRWJ6lFf0Bp8fWvG1YAAk2sYdj

Posted in Archdiocesan News.

One Comment

  1. Dear Alison ,happy 2023 . What a beautiful email . Thank you so much.
    Take care

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