Teresa Gittins Pastoral & Sacramental Coordinator (Ex Officio)
Our Lady Help of Christians Parish Pastoral Council
The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) is the advisory body and helping hand to the Parish Priest in matters of pastoral ministry in his parish. PPC works on behalf of the parish priest within the geographical territory of the parish to extend pastoral care to each and every person of the community. In a very special way the PPC make present the ‘servant leadership’ of Christ to the community in collaboration with the overall pastoral leadership of the Parish Priest.
The term ‘pastoral’ is important because this team is committed to nourish the faith and practice of its members by a pastoral vision and a mission arising from the vision. The priority intention of this council is to build a healthy and cheerful communion among the people given to its care based on the teachings of Jesus’ command to love one another. PPC ensure every possible opportunity to carry forward Jesus’ mission to the community of faithful from which they been chosen.
Annually new council members are elected/nominated to replace those whose term of office has run its course. All parishioners are invited to stand for election. In a culturally diverse parish such as Hendra Northgate Parish the council reflects this diversity with its members.
The responsibilities of the Our Lady Help of Christians Parish Pastoral Council are:
To be active and encourage our parishioners to participate in the life and mission of the Church, promoting the reign of God in our World.
To explore and identify needs, ideas, hopes and challenges of our parishioners.
To help the council to develop/improve, review and implement pastoral initiatives that assist parishioners in their continuing efforts to live as effective Christians in society.
To evaluate parish life and ministry through eyes of Jesus’ teaching, stimulate initiatives, values and goals of the parish.
To enrich the quality of pastoral care and parish life encouraging more people to participate in the activities of the parish and supporting to live out their personal and community call the mission of the church.
To invite all parishioners to play a part in planning, encouraging, and directing various aspects of parish life.
These stated responsibilities help shape the schemas and the activities envisaged by the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) at the monthly meetings. An effective way to achieve these goals is to use Cardinal Joseph Leo Cardijn’s process of discernment – ‘See, Judge and Act’. Look to see what is happening in and around our parish community in relation of pastoral needs; judge the issues in the light of the Gospel, and discern what does it tell us; and decide upon the most appropriate action to be taken.
The PPC endeavours to set realistic goals for the year (short term plans) and for few years (long term plans) and at each meeting listens to the ideas its members may bring forward, discusses them and sets about planning for their implementation. This process provides a solid structure for the meetings and provides a clear focus for the PPC members.
Our present focus has been on Welcome, Inclusion and Communication. The initiatives have been well received by the members of the parish as well as the visitors. Each member of the Parish Pastoral Council is encouraged to bring their ideas, their energies and their special interests but the common thread which binds all members together is their belief that they are responding to a call, with the Parish priest, to complete Jesus’ mission and will in our community.