From the Parish Management Team August 2020
Hello fellow parishioners….our Parish Management Team met on Tuesday evening [Maureen Ryan, Carol Teodori, Sr. Moya, Fr. Paul, Richard Kemmis (secretary), Jeremy Leather, Kevin Medlin (Finance Committee) Alan Wedesweiler, Len Blahut].
Thank you to those who were in a position to make a response during the past week or so to the concerns and questions we find ourselves facing in this COVID-19 time [Scroll down to note the responses]. As diverse as our experiences are, I feel they are worth offering…so thank you. We look forward to hearing of anything that can enhance our community life.
We recognize that our Parish concerns reach beyond attendance at Mass, but also realize how important the celebration of Eucharist is for many. Yet, it’s worth noting, that at this time of the PANDEMIC, we are challenged to expand our understanding of celebrating Eucharist (see Parish Leadeship Reflection below). So hopefully we strike a balance in the way our parish leadership places its energies. We look to you to keep us faithful to the task. Here are some things for both your consideration, and any assistance, to ensure our community wellbeing…..
1) Fr. Paul intends to continue with Sunday Mass recordings with the assistance of John Hendriks, and is welcoming other voices (e.g. personal scripture reflections, prayer script, a hymn or song, a FAMILY video experience, some of the activities of the children at the school) for inclusion in the recording. Take a moment to think what you have in YOUR KIT! Email it to the parish office by any Thursday afternoon. The Mass is recorded at 9am each Thursday.
2) After a report to the police of a Mass in our church failing to adhere to social distancing, we are on notice to take particular care of our placements in the church on the weekends. We have had to revise our church numbers to 24. PLEASE NOTE: We are currently uneasy at ensuring adherence to the regulations whilst persons are turning up for Mass without a booking. Along with Fr. Paul, we are advising strongly that to ensure attendance, names must be submitted for listing. The only alternative we have is to re-direct arrivals to another Mass once 24 has been reached. Sounds draconian, but that’s the world we are in right now! We appreciate your understanding. Please call 4759 1034 or text 0403 619 146 by Saturday morning for a place at Mass. If you find your plans have changed, please cancel your booking asap. We are considering putting on an extra vigil Mass earlier than 5pm if that would give people more confidence to attend.
WOULD YOU KINDLY GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK ON THE FOLLOWING?
3) When thinking of a disadvantaged group in our society, refugees & migrants on temporary visas come to mind. On September 27 our diocese is celebrating Migrant & Refugee Sunday. What would you like to see our Sunday Masses include for this celebration?
4) Recognising parishioners who are limited in their attendance to Mass, who do you know would appreciate a home visit from Fr. Paul? Who would like to hold a personal/family communion service in the home. Hosts can be arranged.
5) There is a real need for volunteers for our roster which has many gaps in various ministries since being beset by COVID-19. Having an extra Mass is also calling for your kind participation.
6) Who amongst our community may be overlooked for special attention?
7) With the challenge of gathering for liturgy, is anyone interested in connecting on ZOOM and share reflection on the Sunday Readings? Any other ideas?
8) We may often be wondering what our young ones are doing to celebrate faith. Take a moment to view what OLN primary school children did for the Mary MacKillop feast. Truly inspiring. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1AH2ZjLte2QN_HKo3e_pc2uyalEZyBIsL.
9) We are grateful for your continued financial support. We are also grateful for what the government has offered organizations such as ours at this COVID-19 time….Job-Seeker support for Fr. Paul and our secretary.
It will be obvious that emphasis in our concern does surround the reality of Eucharist. This does not deny the many other focuses that you may see as needing attention. So, let us know what may be overlooked?
We appreciate your part in developing our approach to our community life. Take a moment to surf our parish website [https://www.lawsoncatholicchurch.org.au]. Love to know how we're going?
With gratitude, and have a safe week, Leonard Blahut (Chair).
In calling on Christ’s faithful to unite their joys, hopes, griefs and anxieties to those of all peoples, especially the poor and afflicted, Pope John XXIII & Vatican II (1962-5) recognised that the Church, intimately linked to the human family and its history, needed to explain to women and men its presence in the contemporary world – a world created and sustained by God, enslaved by sin, emancipated by Christ, and ready to be fashioned anew to reach its fulfilment. It saw the Church, scrutinising the signs of the times, as offering a service to the whole human family. It could identify the important questions and trends of the time, seek to understand people’s expectations and longings, interpret them in the light of the gospel, and engage in a helping conversation….
Scrutinising the signs of the times is not a task for clerics alone. Rather, it is the right and duty of all the People of God, from the bishops to the last member of the laity……. (From ‘Signs of the Times’, Summary Document No. 8, Catholics for Renewal)
What SIGNS are we supposed to be noticing and responding to in 2020?
For Parish Leadership Reflection…..(Len Blahut, Aug 10, 2020)
Whatever the merits of live-streaming Mass as a means of spiritual support, one would hope that it does not become the dominant pastoral response to this crisis. What our church needs most, in charting a course through the coronavirus complexities, is a robust focus on the domestic church and home-based spirituality.
A summons to the communion of bread broken at the family meal table (including all its moments of spilt milk, toddler tantrums, and sibling arguments) is more urgent, more relevant, more incarnational, and ultimately more sacramentally fruitful, than drawing families to an inaccessible altar viewed on a screen (Teresa Pirola, April, 2020)
Parish Leadership Reflection
Pope Francis alluded to the problem in a recent homily. Eucharistic celebrations on television and radio, he said, create a ‘gnostic familiarity’, but not community. Virtual celebrations provide some spiritual nourishment, but they are not ‘church’. As Francis said, church means coming together to share the bread.
We are clearly all in this together and we hunger for grace. We need community, we need blessing, we need charity. Community is where we find it.
And charity is all around us…. (Phyllis Zagano, NCR, 21/4/20)
(Any Christ-like change amongst ourselves) starts not by looking at ourselves but at the need of the marginalised and indeed the whole of creation. This conversion mentality is vital and must drive any reform program.
The task is to bring Christ’s good news and His healing love to those at the margins, and in turn to learn from them. (Editor, The Swag, Winter edition)
Continually returning to the way of the Gospel, the Church community renews and reforms its organisational structures and procedures to better reflect Jesus’ ministry and teaching, and better to manifest the Church’s living tradition. (Plenary2020 Writing Group)
What STANDS OUT for you in these quotations?
What’s possible for Lawson Parish to adopt? What can it look like?
And not to be ignored, what have been Lawson community’s positive responses so far?
“As they say, ‘Never waste a crisis’ ”.
From the Parish Management Team July 2020
COVID-19 has given us all a challenge. We would like to let you know what has developed over these past 4 months to keep our community spirit alive. At our last meeting on July 22nd, we discussed many aspects of our parish life, documented below.
With the unavoidable postponement of First Communion & First Reconciliation, parents are being supported in the meantime by ongoing communication.
Even though we have officially ended the Food Drive, we know that many are still doing it tough. So if you feel like continuing to contribute foodstuffs on an ongoing basis for those in dire need, please drop them into solid shopping bags at the office or Mass and we will do the rest.
Opportunities for Getting Together.
The most common way for some parishioners to keep contact with each other during the past few months of the pandemic was through tele-conferencing on Zoom. The following took place:
*Sessions on the Gospels (Laurie Woods - firstname.lastname@example.org)
*Saturday Morning Chat, 10:30am (Francis O'Callaghan - email@example.com)
*Fielding any questions regarding the Bible (Leonard Blahut - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please contact respective persons for further developments.
Social Distancing in the church: this has been of grave concern.
We have been informed by some fellow parishioners that they are deeply concerned for themselves and others when someone slips into a pew and remains directly behind or in front of someone else. Please, this proximity must be avoided when attending Mass.
The Parish Management Team realizes that we need to face some hard questions as a result of COVID-19. Let us take a moment to consider these questions please:
-What more can we do to assist those who want to celebrate Eucharist but can’t come to the church for various reasons? …..and there are many!
-How do we reach, and come to know, those who may need some kind of care?
-Are we losing connection with each other? If so, what do we do?
-There are some using these times to re-assess the meaning of going to Mass. What challenge is this throwing out to us as a community?
What has continued since the lockdown in March is the distribution of the Parish bulletin to those either not on the internet, or simply prefer the print copy. If you would like to receive a print copy, or know of someone who does, call the Parish office please.
Our next meeting is August 18. Please offer the parish team some of your wisdom after hearing these concerns.
As they say….we are all in it together!