Reports and News re Parish events:
Parish Annual General Meeting September - to be updated 2019
Bishops Parish Visitation August 2014
Like so many of the older suburbs, the parish of Innaloo/Karrinyup is seeing changes in the demographic and physical environment. A great number of residences have been replaced by new homes and units. With this new development, there has been an increase in the cohort of young families living in the parish. This constitutes a challenge and an opportunity.
Fr. Nicholas Pereira has been parish priest for eight years. He has sensitively moved the two communities towards a constructive unity. He acknowledges the indispensable assistance he has received from parishioners in both centres, especially from those in the Parish Pastoral Council and Finance Committee. Fr. Nicholas has learnt much from the experience of leading an Australian parish and I am grateful for the advice and assistance he has received from members of the community.
The Parish Pastoral Council works alongside the parish priest in establishing the pastoral mission for the community. The council has a chairperson and the parish priest presides at the meetings. It is mandated to develop the pastoral priorities for the community and the strategies to achieve these pastoral objectives. The method that is preferred is that decisions are arrived at by consensus. This is more in keeping with the spirit of decision making in the Church. It requires patience as decisions need to follow a pattern of discernment. The use of the democratic vote is not advised as it is inherently divisive.
I suggest that the Pastoral Council access some formation on its role and how it should engage in pastoral discernment at each time new members are oriented into its work.
I was very pleased to hear about the initiatives the Council has begun, especially those relating to building the sense of community and common vision of both centres, and attempts to connect the school communities with the total parish.
The schools are parts of the parish, communities among the other communities of the parish. The Sacrament Policy issued this year emphasises this point, and it is required that the policy be implemented according to local conditions. The partnerships of families with the parish and school in the faith education of their children must be strengthened. More needs to be done to provide family faith formation when the children are being prepared for the Sacraments. A single parent night is not enough. The Catechists and teachers will have work very closely together to develop family evenings. The Archdiocesan Catechist Service is able to assist.
The financial situation of the parish is reasonably healthy. I am grateful for the work of the Finance Committee in putting this area of governance on a professional footing. The parish priest is accountable for the financial sustainability of the parish. The management of the finances has meant that a good reserve has been deposited in the CDF. I caution that this should be allowed to grow and not be run down without strict scrutiny. Maintenance needs to be accounted for and fundraising activities planned to offset expenses. Fundraisers should be seen as opportunities to develop community spirit through social interaction.
The liturgy is well served by an enthusiastic committee. I observed that the Mass is celebrated well, with the assistance of competent acolytes and servers, and by very good musicians and singers. The liturgy is the most important contact we have with our parishioners. It needs to be celebrated with dignity and prayerfully. Preparation before Mass is essential and any instructions have to be given then so that needless distraction during Mass is avoided. I was glad to hear of ongoing formation meeting for servers and acolytes.
Deacon Greg Lowe has provided the parish with invaluable ministry since his ordination. He made important contributions to the development of the liturgy and preparation for baptism and marriage. There may be other ways he might help in adult faith formation, depending on his time and family commitments.
Overall, I found that the parish has made great progress. It has the potential to grow steadily and to deepen the unity that is emerging between the two centres. It is never easy to manage an amalgamation of parishes. Fr. Nicholas has generously responded to the requests made from time to time to duplicate services in both places. Eventually, consideration will need to be given to the realistic sharing of the clerical resources. I recommend that allowance be given for the realism that no one is perfect, parishioner or priest. We need to improve our communication and care for one another. The parish, the Church, belongs to Christ and we are his stewards of the community of the faithful and the mission of the Church.