Parish Pastoral Councils who wish to explore the Archdiocesan pastoral innovation of Parish Hubs have been gearing up to participate in the Archdiocesan Plan’s May gatherings set to take place on 18 and 25 May.
The gatherings, which will be headed by Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton together with his Parish Renewal Implementation Group (PRIG), will mark a hopeful expansion to the implementation of Parish Hubs.
At present, the PRIG co-ordinator Father Nino Vinciguerra said the response so far has been positive, with two Hubs already in existence and the promise of four more in the near future.
Fr Vinciguerra says the May gatherings will create more awareness, and will hopefully lead to the formation of more hubs.
“Parish Pastoral Councillors will be the first to learn about the initiative, take the information gained back to their parishes, and present it in June to their parishioners,” Fr Vinciguerra stated.
“In response to a request from the eastern region of the city, an additional gathering is being offered at Kalamunda for the parishes in that region.”
Fr Vinciguerra explained that the Parish Hubs concept looks at ways in which parishes, while maintaining their autonomy and self-identity, can support each other in whatever way seems best for them.
Each Hub will discern what pastoral issues are most practical for them in which to collaborate.
“In this time when the Church is experiencing a challenging time, it would seem important for Catholics to have a strong sense of journeying together,” he stated.
Due to the crucial importance of the Plenary Council preparations and the upcoming Australian Catholic Youth Festival that will take place this December in Perth, Fr Vinciguerra added that a planned October follow-up to the May Gatherings will now focus primarily on existing parish Hubs.
“Rather than organising more meetings, it will be conducted through the parish renewal website and will focus on pastoral planning and emphasising the very tools of discernment that the Plenary Council will be offering,” Fr Vinciguerra said.
“The fact it will be conducted online gives the congregation of each parish the time to discern and freedom to explore at their own pace.”
Fr Vinciguerra revealed that a gathering of all parish Hubs, including parishes who considering a commitment to this initiative is expected to take place in February 2020.
“There will be the opportunity to review their experience of a Hub, share the benefits and challenges and assist each other with ongoing formation,” Fr Vinciguerra said.
“Presently the Archdiocese is in the process of establishing four more Hubs to the two existing hubs.
“The experience, learnings and insights gained by the 21 parishes that comprise these six Hubs, will be the springboard in 2020 for a major expansion of Hubs in the Archdiocese,” he concluded.