Mary Kleinsman-Powell and Sue Ryan
The third and final PALS [pastoral area liturgy support] weekend for the year was on the first weekend in November at the Magnificat Retreat Centre, amid the stunning natural surroundings of the Rimutaka Incline in the Wairarapa.
The group of people, who mostly hadn’t met until the first weekend in March, embodied the friendship behind the acronym, journeying and praying together. The weekends led by Fr John Greally, required only a love of faith and of liturgy and a desire to continue to participate in a meaningful way.
The liturgies were a witness of what we are on about and set the scene for each day. Prayer themes expressed in the word, songs, powerpoint presentations and heartfelt sharing, were highly inspirational. Recognising our giftedness, walking on holy ground and understanding God’s ‘stamp’ that remains in so many ways were but a few examples.
The weekend explored the treasured resource LabOra Worship, which Fr Barry Copley from the Brisbane Liturgical Commission introduced.
This programme offers an efficient digital library of liturgical texts, knowledge and numerous resources in a comprehensive network – a must for all parishes.
Further empowerment came from within the group itself. All presented something of the essence of their parish. It was touching to see the outreach that this provoked. Often the most amazing resourcefulness comes from sharing among ourselves.
Topics ranged from:
- The importance of children’s place in the Church, the parish/school relationship and the importance of educating parents;
- The process for educating a parish about the place of the Mass in Maori;
- Combined Church gatherings;
- Sharing sacramental programmes;
- A true God moment;
- St Mary of the Angels – getting to the heart of Wellington;
- Clowns – the essence of the wise fool.
There really was ‘…a deeper sense of the possibilities in the liturgical life of the parish, pastoral area and archdiocese…’ at this weekend.
Truly this experience was a privilege and an honour to have been a part of – an experience of the presence of God among us.
Images: Mary Kleinsman-Powell, Travina Oh and Maureen Borkin and, right, Frs John Greally and Barry Copley.
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