FROM OUR SAFETY OFFICER FOR CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
Children need to have a voice when it comes to child safety and this is often overlooked. They need to feel empoweredand have a platform to speak out confidently if something is not right or doesnot feel right.
Many years ago I gave Communion to a guy at Mass I recently had served at a homeless shelter. And this hit me: he and I not only share the body of Christ, we also were part of the Body of Christ.
A homeless man and I, part of the same body. It really made me think – just like this week’s Gospel. Christ our king says we serve him when we serve the people considered least in our world. God’s Spirit lives in them. God’s Spirit also lives in us. Thus, the connection: we are all part of the same body, the Body of Christ.
The child starving in Africa. The kid without friends. The man begging on the street corner. The old woman alone. The prisoner serving a sentence. And you and I. All part of the same body. That means we have to change our thinking at times. When our stomachs hurt, we ask why. We might spend time and money for treatment. We rarely judge or ignore it. But we sometimes treat parts of our spiritual body – the Body of Christ – differently when they suffer. “I’m too busy to visit,” some might say as they pass a nursing home where so many suffer loneliness. “They shouldn’t have broken the law,” some might say about people in prison.
Our spiritual body stretches around the world. When parts of it suffer, let’s take the time to understand why and relieve the pain. The Body of Christ SERVES the Body of Christ to BECOME the Body of Christ.
What connections or similarities have you seen between yourself and people you’ve met who are hurting or in need?
St Patrick’s Parish Pakenham (the Parish) holds the care, safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults as an absolutely necessary responsibility. Our commitment is drawn from and inherent in the teaching and mission of Jesus Christ, with love, justice and the sanctity of each human person at the heart of the gospel (Diocese of Sale Commitment Statement).
As staff and volunteers of St Patrick’s Parish, Pakenham you are expected to actively contribute to a parish culture that respects the dignity of its members and affirms the Gospel values of love, care for others, compassion and justice. You are required to have read and to observe the principles and expectations as set out in the Parish Policy for the Care, Protection and Safety of Children and the Pastoral Care of Vulnerable Adults as published on the Parish Web Site.
Soup Kitchen Update (18 Nov 2017): The meeting to consider the beginning of a “Soup Kitchen” type project in our parish was held on Thursday evening in the hall. About 30 parishioners attended. This project could give parishioners a way to respond to the Holy Father’s call for us to be a church for the poor, meeting a need in our community. There are many, varied roles involved in such a project and all can play a part. A working party was established to take this project forward under the leadership of Jane Parsons. The working party will report back, likely in the early new year.
On Thursday 21st September, 3 members of the Parish Pastoral Council, Siji, Gerald and myself travelled to Traralgon to observe first-hand the feasibility of setting up, coordinating and running a ‘Soup Kitchen’ in our Parish, for our Community.
Mick’s Kitchen in Traralgon is an outreach program of St. Michael’s Parish, organised and run by the parishioners. Parishioners there readily responded to help those less fortunate than most people in the parish. There are many varied roles involved and we all have different gifts to use.
As a result of our visit, a parish meeting has been planned for Thursday 16th November commencing at 7:30pm to discuss whether a Soup Kitchen might work in our parish and community. On behalf of Fr. Bernard and the Parish Pastoral team together with Parish Pastoral Council, I personally invite you to attend this meeting to offer and discuss both our thoughts and your thoughts and ideas. Looking forward to seeing you there.
What does your relationship with Christ look like? Do you see Jesus as simply a great teacher? A prophet? A man of great wisdom? Or do you see him as more? Jesus calls us to be more than simply believers—he calls us to be his disciples and his friends. Do you consider yourself a disciple and friend of Christ? The Gospel of John shows us that God became like us; he became a man so that we could become like him and grow closer to him. Follow Me: Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John is your guide to a personal encounter with Christ. This is another amazing program distributed by The Great Adventure.
If you want to know what it means to really follow Christ, and if you would like to have a deeper relationship with him, then we invite you to join us for Follow Me, beginning on Friday, 4th August 2017. You will not only benefit personally from being part of this study; you will also help us to grow in fellowship as a parish as we grow closer to Christ together.
Follow Me invites you to experience the joy of a renewed friendship with Christ. You will learn what it takes to follow him. You will experience the joy of divine friendship, and you will see how God— and only God—can satisfy the deepest desires of your heart.
Participants of Follow Me will receive a workbook and will meet every week to view an engaging video presentation followed by a time of lively group discussion and fellowship.
The eight 30-minute videos, presented by Dr. Edward Sri, will guide you through the Gospel of John. Dr. Sri will explain how Christ’s encounters with his disciples, the Samaritan woman, the man born blind, and others, are examples of how he lovingly and persistently calls each of us to a more intimate and life-changing relationship with him.
We will begin Follow Me on 4th August at 7.30 pm.
Cost is $20 or free depending on circumstances.
For more information, and to register for the study, contact Susanga 0433 786 787, Tresa 0421 931 888 or Dominic 0425 742 254.
The Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) is a national gathering of Catholic young people established by the Australian Catholic Bishops. It exists to provide young people with opportunities to deepen their relationship with Jesus, be empowered to be disciples in the world today and encounter and celebrate the vitality of the Church in Australia.
The Archdiocese of Sydney is hosting the event in Sydney from December 7th-9th 2017 on behalf of the ACBC. The Festival receives collaborative support from the agencies of the Archdiocese, and greater Sydney dioceses of Broken Bay, Parramatta and Wollongong.In December 2017 the Festival will launch the Year of Youth, celebrating ten years on from hosting World Youth Day 2008.
The Sydney theme will be: “Open New Horizons For Spreading Joy: Young People, Faith And Vocational Discernment”. The theme draws inspiration from Pope Francis’ address to young people at the Vigil at WYD Krakow 2016, along with the theme chosen for the next General Synod to be held in Rome during 2018. Pope Francis continues to challenge the young people of the world to boldly engage with their faith, their relationship with Jesus and the world.
It would be great for our parish for some of our young people attend the Festival. We would have to support them financially to do so.
Promoting Child Safety – Child Care: New legislation has been introduced in the State of Victoria in the interests of promoting child safety.
One of the requirements is that all volunteers over the age of 18 are required by law to have a Working With Children Card or current Teacher Registration. This applies to all organizations in Victoria including for example sporting clubs, hobby clubs, social clubs, service organizations (St Vinnies), churches etc.. It requires quite a major effort for every organization to meet the requirements. But meet them we must. This is in the interest of our children.
Consequently, all volunteers in the parishare required to attain a Working with Children card. This includes collectors, cleaners, all choir members and all musicians over the age of 18, funeral caterers, welcomers, readers, ministers of the Eucharist (over the age of 18) those working in the Piety stall, children’s liturgy of the word, RCIA people, catechists, youth group leaders, parish councilors.
For help with obtaining your card, or updating details on an existing card, please see Kath after mass in the foyer. There is no cost involved in obtaining a card.
The Welcome Table: Once a month we will have a “Welcome Table” in the Church foyer. New comers to the parish who have not met the parish staff and have not registered as parishioners will be invited to visit the table and register.
There are so many new parishioners arriving in the parish that it is difficult to spot everyone and we do wish to meet, greet and welcome every new comer to the parish. Any new arrival who has not had contact with the parish leaders will you please visit the table after mass.