|BACK TO BASIC – Feb 2
Third Pastoral Priority
By Vernon Khelawan
Being the world’s greatest optimist, I imagine that by now most parish plans to set in motion work on the Synod-mandated Third Pastoral Priority – Regenerating The Moral and Spiritual Values of our Society – are finished.
And while I understand the enthusiasm to want to set in train and actually complete several plans to address the Priority mandate, I wish to suggest an emphasis on smaller and more easily achievable, results-oriented plans.
A ‘back to basic’ strategy should be employed to ensure that whatever plans there are actually work and produce sustainable results. Grandiose plans too often fail to achieve results – a straight case of the mind willing and the body weak.
Parishes have had the experience of formulating plans for the two earlier Priorities, but in so many instances the plans were never brought to any satisfactory conclusion, simply because they were way beyond the capacities of the human and financial resources of the parish or ministry.
Let us face reality: while there are thousands of Catholics attending Holy Mass on weekends, the workers required for a productive parish vineyard are few. Just look around and see for yourself. So, avoid those grand plans that might not work out and stick to small and doable things that the available resources can accomplish.
Here are a few of my suggestions: select a small number of young people in your parish and, with their help, convene a forum in which they have a chance to say how they feel about the society today and what they think can be done to improve our spiritual and moral values. It will be a lot easier for them to engage their peers and even their siblings when the ideas come from them.
Or maybe, you can devote time to interact with them on the sports field, mentoring them in the value of sportsmanship. The time for talking down to young people has long gone. In today’s world youth must be shown respect as equals in the society if we are to reach them, more so because they have an inescapable role to play in building society.