This year the Launch Out retreat was led by Fr Eddie Condra. The theme of the retreat was to reflect and pray about the sacramental nature of our world, ourselves, our church. Once again this retreat touched the God dwelling within each one, within the group and within our church.
Since the synod many people are asking how they can best help the people in the Launch Out formation programme now that the archdiocese is moving towards the appointment of more lay pastoral leaders in parishes and chaplaincies.
This generous response echoes the words of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference in their document: Co-workers in the Vineyard of the Lord
Ministry in the church continues the ministry of Jesus through the ages and throughout the world. Continually, the Spirit calls forth new ministries and new ministers to serve evolving needs, as the history of the church shows. In our time lay ecclesial ministers have emerged, men and women working in collaboration with bishops, priests, and other laity, each responding to the charisms bestowed by the Spirit. Because of their secular character, in a particular way they ‘are the church in the heart of the world and bring the world into the heart of the church’ (Lay Ecclesial Ministry: the State of the Question) as they serve the needs of the community today. Lay people working in and for the church require support and encouragement in the special task of evangelizing an increasingly incredulous world.
You can assist in three practical ways:
Pray for the Launch Out candidates and those recently appointed as lay pastoral leaders in either a parish or chaplaincy.
Affirm, support, visit regularly, and take a personal interest in one Launch Out candidate appointed as a lay pastoral leader to a parish or chaplaincy.
Start a fund to financially support your chosen lay pastoral leader. This money would be deposited in the lay pastoral leader fund in the archdiocese.