Fr Terence Pereira speaking to parish representatives at the Milestone Conference on Feb 18.

The challenge facing the Church is a “disconnect between the inner life of the Christian and the ministry he is involved in”, Archbishop William Goh told 200 representatives from various parishes recently.

“Many Catholics who are baptised … who have encountered God … immediately want to go and evangelise. But if the person is not well formed, his inner life is not in order, what is the consequence?” he asked the crowd gathered at the Holy Innocents’ High School on Feb 18 afternoon.

“When he enters into ministry, he is going to get hurt and he is going to hurt others because he is still wounded.”

That is why the archdiocese is encouraging every disciple, who is “called to be a missionary”, to undergo spiritual formation, human formation, intellectual formation and pastoral formation, said Archbishop Goh.

He was giving the opening speech during the Milestone Conference organised by the Office for the New Evangelisation (ONE) on the “Formation Roadmap for New Evangelisation”.

The conference saw Fr Terence Pereira, Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelisation, sharing a common direction and frame of reference for the formation of members of parishes.

Parish representatives sharing in small groups.

“Where is your ministry going to be five years from today?” he asked participants, adding that if they wanted to transform the archdiocese and their parishes, they needed to be “transformed” themselves.

He noted that the archbishop has come up with a vision for the archdiocese, for it to be vibrant, missionary and evangelical.

“We need to have a strategy,” said Fr Terence. In the roadmap that he presented, he listed the following steps:

 Excite: Helping the individual become excited about the faith.
 Encounter: Helping the individual to experience a deepening of Jesus’ call to “come and see”.
 Engage: Providing faith information for the individual, and helping the individual to practise his faith.
 Evangelise: Those who are formed are then ready to evangelise others.

Fr Terence warned parish representatives against being so focused on their ministry work that they neglect faith formation. “It’s not about doing the work, it’s about living the faith,” he stressed.

Fr Terence also shared a framework to holistically develop a baptised person to participate in the three-fold ministry of Christ as “priest”, “prophet” and “king”.

They are:

 Kerygma (proclamation, Scripture)
 Koinonia (community, Church)
 Leitougia (prayer, Eucharist)
 Didache (teaching, tradition)
 Karisma (gifts, calling)
 Diakonia (works of mercy, works of charity)
 Evangelismo (witness, proclamation)

Fr Terence urged participants to bring the proposed roadmap to their parishes for further discussion. He added that ONE will invite them back at a later date for further discussions.

Participants CatholicNews spoke to welcomed the roadmap.

“I can clearly understand where the archbishop wants us to move,” said Ms Paulette Lirio, from the parish pastoral council of the Church of the Risen Christ. She said the roadmap and Fr Terence’s examples made the archdiocesan vision “more concrete, so something to work on at parish level”.

Mr Roderick Theseira, who is with the catechetical ministry of the Church of St Francis Xavier, shared: “I think it’s very important to have this step because our parish has the opportunity to do things as one unit.” He added, “If we don’t have a parish plan, we don’t have a ministry plan, we will still work in silo.”

A similar session was held in the morning for 70 representatives of archdiocesan organisations comprising commissions, councils, offices, Religious and ecclesial communities, and schools and lay groups.

The Office for the New Evangelisation website is www.one.org.sg. 

By Christopher Khoo
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