⦿ Ordination & appointment of Br Matthew
⦿ Ongoing conversation for sharing Good News
I write with an update of the work of the Parish Advisory Council during this extraordinary year. Our focus has been very much on being church during this pandemic, with its consequent lockdowns and restrictions on gathering as a parish community. At the same time we have endeavoured to adopt a forward focus, learning from the ways we have been called to be community for one another and incorporating the best of these into a new normal for our parish community.
In July we gathered to reflect on the questions Where to from here as the Mt Carmel parish community? and What might our community look like going into the future? We used the Carmelite charism and traditions of prayer, community, and service to frame our responses. Thank you to all who participated in this activity. Your responses were both thoughtful and thought provoking and have provided the Advisory Council with many ideas to incorporate going forward. We are now engaged in exploring your ideas in creating greater opportunities to gather & connect as a community.
One new change will be the celebration of our family Mass with the school community. Class groups will now attend Thursday morning Masses. Also, in response to your suggestions, we are looking at ways to incorporate music on the forecourt as we gather for Mass. Carmel Care has been active in providing meals for parishioners in need and also reaching out to those living alone through regular phone contact. Further initiatives are being developed in this space by our St. Vincent de Paul group. Stay tuned to the newsletter for more information in this space. And speaking of our online newsletter, it has been well received, continues to evolve, and is read far and wide.
On the last weekend in September, as a parish community, we rejoiced in the ordination to the deaconate of Brother Matthew. Matthew's involvement in the parish will now include proclaiming and preaching the gospel during Mass, leading public prayer, and blessing, assisting with baptism and marriage, ministering to the dying and leading funeral rites. Matthew has been appointed to serve our Parish community by the Carmelite Provincial (and confirmed by the Archbishop) until the next Carmelite Provincial Chapter in 2022.
During his ordination I couldn’t help but reflect how fortunate we are as the community of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. We are led and nourished by men of great principle and commitment, men who (in the words of Matthew’s commissioning):
Believe what is read, teach what is believed and practice what is taught.
In his first homily, Matthew reminded us that we too share in this responsibility to spread the Good News in our words and actions. Such is the desire of the Parish Advisory Council as we deliberate a future path.
We continue to discern and listen to your feedback in developing strategies to nourish and enrich the ways in which we offer opportunities for prayer, community, and service now and into a future which will inevitably be changed by our present circumstances. We are always interested to hear from you and will continue to keep you informed.