Community Life at Holy Spirit Parish
It is wonderful, the number of volunteers we have who give so generously of their time and talents to do this missionary work for Our Lord and in turn help me in my role as Pastoral Associate.
In the role of Parish Pastoral Associate at Holy Spirit I assist the Parish Priest as an integral member of the Parish Leadership Team and attend to the varying needs of the parish and school community in accordance with the principles, practices and teachings of the Catholic Church as inspired by the Divine Renovation model.
The role encompasses the overseeing and coordination of Parish pastoral activities and allows me as Pastoral Associate to bring my own gifts and talents to the position.
l have the privilege working with families in preparing and planning of funerals. This valuable ministry gives comfort and strength to those grieving. I also provide follow up visits to recently bereaved, when time allows, for them to know that we care about them and for them to sit and share their stories.
Many of our parishioners are also going through the transition of moving from their family homes into Retirement Villages, Units or Nursing Homes which increases home visits due to illness, infirmity or not being able to drive. In many cases through the kindness of others, we provide driving rosters so these parishioners can still attend Sunday worship. Many ill in Nursing Homes or at home are visited by our Sunday Communion Ministers who give up their Sunday mornings on a monthly roster to serve our people. Fr. Jose celebrates monthly Masses at Gracedale Nursing Home and Cherry Tree Village, which also includes visits to those who are not well enough to attend these Masses.
Fr Jose and l go together to visit those at home or in hospital, taking communion, blessings, anointings and conversations. We see the great joy and comfort this can bring to the sick of our Holy Spirit Parish Community.
At times in our lives, we all have crisis and Holy Spirit Parish offers care, love and support to everyone in the parish who asks for our help. Many parents from Holy Spirit Community School come to our door when life becomes too difficult for them to handle and we spend time with a listening ear and we try to find resources for them to tap into which can help them with their problems. Spiritual and religious issues are often part of a quest for a deeper meaning of life and an understanding of self, so time is spent with parishioners to help them journey through their times of doubt.
Home visits to new parishioners, meeting their families and being made welcome in their homes is a wonderful part of Pastoral Care and I pray that this continues to increase so we can build on the community of Holy Spirit.
I feel that it is most important that we need to keep working hard at approaching more people to help with parish pastoral care, as the demand is certainly much greater than the resources we have. We all must constantly reach out and empower others so that we continue to build on enriching this community and keeping the Spirit flowing.
Thank you for your support in this wonderful ministry.
Jacinta Biby, Parish Pastoral Associate.