Lord Jesus Christ, your heart is full of compassion for all men and women, especially for those in pain and need. Help with your sacrifice in the Mass, let me not be wrapped up in my own selfish concerns, but open to your presence in all your children.
I pray with Mary and the whole Church for the Pope’s intentions this month:
This month’s intentions:
That the countries that take in a great number of displaced persons and refugees may find support for their efforts, which show solidarity.
That within parishes, priests and lay people may collaborate in service to the community without giving in to the temptation of discouragement.
Collaboration of Priests and Laity
My time in Holy Trinity Parish in Dublin’s North Side taught me that the Lord has provided, among the parishioners themselves, all the giftedness and talent needed for building up the community. The challenge is to encourage those blessed with talent and ability to share these gifts with the parish.
Our committed Parish Pastoral Council began by organising a Volunteering Sunday three Octobers in a row. Each Volunteering Sunday was preceded by four weeks of intensive information on parish needs and outlining new Ministries and Groups that were needed and where talents could be best put to use. We got 100 new volunteers in the first year, 80 in the second and 30 in the third. As well as invigorating existing groups we created a Choral Society, Funeral Ministry Team, an Adoration Society and above all, a sense of a parish alive with multiple opportunities for taking part.
I found the image of a giant jig-saw puzzle helpful. There is nothing worse when putting together a 5,000 piece puzzle than to discover that the last piece is missing! No matter how beautiful the picture, everyone will focus on the gaping hole in the finished product. God has given all the pieces necessary to make a beautiful parish community but unless parishioners get involved, there will be a number of gaping holes where their contribution should be.
– Fr Eoin McCrystal, extracted from Living Prayer