Wanniassa parish reflection #3
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.
Yvonne de Wit – 50, Audiologist, single
On parish life:
“Parish life for me is participating in activities. I help with the music at our 5pm Mass. St Anthony’s is going through a time of renewal which is always worthwhile but there has long been a great sense of community in the parish. I recently went to the Parish Dinner for the first time. It has been going for 16 years and it was a wonderful evening. We have a weekly coffee group, helping hands group and casual morning teas.”
What do you find challenging?
“A faith community is like an extension of a family in that everyone needs to contribute in some way. People do not realise they have something to contribute or they hesitate to step forward. I can relate to that. But we are a faith family and everyone should feel welcome and encouraged to contribute.”
Your ‘must-haves’ in parish life?
“Daily Mass because it puts the focus on why we come together, plus other opportunities to pray individually and as a community which are crucial to the lifeblood of a parish.”
How has parish life changed?
“Daily Mass and devotions were an essential part of my growing up. The desire to interact with a vibrant faith community stemmed from our extended-family gatherings where the practice of our Catholic faith was encouraged. I realise that is atypical. It was a privileged background. Our faith was and is deeply woven into all aspects of our life.”
What can we learn from bigger evangelical churches?
“How fundamental the sacraments are in the Catholic Church. The reason we come together is the Eucharist but sometimes people do not understand that and find Mass a chore. It is so important that we are educated about our faith. People live their faith on auto pilot and forget why we do things.