Wanniassa parish reflection #2
Making Wanniassa a vibrant parish
One of more than 50 parishes across our Archdiocese, St Anthony’s at Wanniassa is on a quest to become a vibrant parish.
A lot has been done, and there is a lot still to do, with Parish Priest Fr Tony Percy instigating a four-week parish consultation called “Where Are We?”
Fr Tony, the Vicar-General who became PP in August, has told parishioners: “We all contribute in marvellous and many ways to our parish and this is an opportunity for us to reflect. We would like to be a vibrant parish, reaching out to others with the Good News of Jesus.”
Developing and deepening spirituality is one important focus for the parish, which is also looking at music ministry, building community and engaging more with young people.
Parishioners will share views at gatherings on December 6 and 7.
Bruce Ryan – Retired, married with five children
On parish life:
I enjoy the community aspects, Mass and the Sacraments and the spirituality.
What do you find challenging?
“Inertia, in the sense of getting anything new off the ground, but that is improving. The lack of young people, the 40-somethings and young families, that’s also a concern. There are fewer volunteers to get things done.
Your ‘must-haves’ in parish life?
“Regular Masses and Reconciliation, plus a Parish Pastoral Council and a Finance Council. There must be regular adult and youth formation along with spirituality and prayer groups, community activities, outreach activities and inter-church activities. Good music, preaching and community is important. I would like to see more emphasis on parish-based evangelisation, interfaith initiatives and consultative processes involving women in all decisions.
“Evangelisation is our core responsibility, but does not seem to be a core competency. I would like to see much more emphasis on parish-based evangelisation, ecumenism and interfaith initiatives. I would also like to see more support from the Archdiocese for this.”
How has your experience of parish life changed?
“It has become much more self-directed. When I was young the priest made home visits and you waited for his instructions. Now you need to be suggesting things and implementing them. There seems less community engagement now. This has to be fostered.
What can we learn from bigger evangelical churches?
“We need to work harder at being a loving and supportive Christian community. We need good music, preaching and community that makes sense to 21st Century Catholics. Through the Plenary Council we need to update liturgy and the language we use, governance and transparency in decisions, the involvement of laity, especially women and a stronger evangelisation effort.”