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MAT: putting the pieces together

For the past few weeks, we have been providing information on the new Parish Architecture (how we organise our parishes in the Archdiocese) through the medium of the Catholic News.

We have looked at the Parish Council and its revised roles and functions in the parish and the new Ministry Animation Teams (MATs). This week we would like to go in detail about the MATs.

We are hoping that the people of God would be sensitised and understand the approach to revitalising our parishes and the Church in the Archdiocese.

The MAT is like a jigsaw puzzle. Each person on the MAT represents a piece of the jigsaw i.e. a ministry or group of Ministries in the parish. (See model diagram which can be adapted to suit the parish).

Depending on the size of the parish, the MAT should comprise between six and eight persons, two of whom should be young adults. The image represents the need for greater collaboration and co-responsibility by those who serve in these ministries, as they work together in achieving the goals and objectives of the parish and the Archdiocese.

The goal of the MAT is:

To inspire, motivate and manage pastoral ministries in the parish.

It is envisioned that the work of parish ministries would be enabled and become more effective in how they plan and implement the work of their ministries. The following are the functions of the MAT in the parish:

* Ensures ongoing spiritual and human formation of persons involved in Ministries

* Provides ongoing training for the empowerment of the Ministries to effectively respond to the changing environment in the parishes

* Ensures that parish Ministries adhere to core gospel values for example, love, reconciliation, justice, care for the poor and marginalised, hospitality, in the execution of their duties

* Ensures accountability such that Ministries in the parish adhere to their key roles and responsibilities to the people of God as envisioned by the pastoral plan and the parish pastoral council

* Executes on the initiatives derived from the linkages across Ministries, the commissions, departments and the parish council

* Promotes healthy communication and teamwork in the parish ministries

* Promotes collaboration and co-responsibility among parish ministries in service of the mission of the Church

Each person on the MAT then is a:

Chief Animator for that the Ministry/Ministries s/he represents

Coordinator of the Ministry/Ministries s/he represents on the MAT—the plans and work of the Ministries


Administrative glue for that Ministry in the MAT

Link between the Ministry and the priest

It is important to note that persons who are asked to serve on the MAT should have the following qualities:

  1. Committed and Present

A committed parishioner (staff or volunteer) who is present at the parish throughout the week and available for weekly meetings.

  1. Team Player

Vulnerable and capable of engaging in productive conflict.  Will hold people accountable and is willing to be held accountable.

  1. Whole-Parish Oriented

Focused on the collective results of the parish more than their individual areas of concern.

  1. Mature

Mature, humble, prayerful and able to handle sensitive and confidential information.

Serving on the MAT is not a perk or a position to laud it over ministry volunteers but a great responsibility, an opportunity to foster greater collaboration, teamwork, accountability, transparency and co-responsibility.

Both MAT and parish priests are expected to be trained and formed to work for the benefit of the WHOLE parish.

Questions/clarifications/recommendations? Please contact Gary Tagallie at Office of Pastoral Planning and Development at 396-2499.