(PPC means Parish Pastoral Council; SCC means Small Christian Communities.)
The PPC's vision for 2006 is to create a more united and vibrant community in Christ and has the theme "We are One in the Lord".
To achieve this vision, PPC has announced several parish-level activities and plans including introducing cell groups (or Small Christian Communities) within the parish, conducting a survey to assess the needs of the parishioners for Support Groups for single parents, parents of children with special needs, the bereaved and migrant workers.
Plans have also been made to introduce faith formation programmes such as the CaFe programme and Parish Renewal Experience. This vision was revealed at the parish's second annual parish assembly on Nov 27 which was attended by more than 200 parishioners.
In addition to other information given them by the PPC leaders, they were given an update of two recently formed ministries - the Publicity Ministry and the Vintage Care group. These materialised as a result of the PPC's initiatives based on the feedback given at the previous parish assembly.
The Publicity Ministry was formed to coordinate the various communication channels in the parish so that parishioners will be informed on parish activities and make use of the different training opportunities available. This ministry also created the parish's website and made improvements
to the bulletin.
to the bulletin.
The Vintage Care Group was formed to look after the socio-spiritual needs of elderly parishioners. Although only recently formed in September, it has already attracted 80 elderly parishioners to be more involved in the parish.
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The parish hopes that two to three years down the road, family-orientated parishioners will be the hallmark of this parish. There will be more Family Days, Family Camps and Family Retreats organised to facilitate this goal.
At the same time, ministries will be encouraged to recruit more family members. For example, wardens will try to recruit couples as members while youth programmes will seek more parental assistance.
The parish is also looking into a neighbourhood programme to strengthen the bonds of individual families within each neighbourhood.
Christ the King
The Parish Assembly will be held only after Chinese New Year. Faith Formation and Family Life are the areas of concern the parishioners will look into.
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
The PPC wants to encourage parishioners, both adults and youths alike, to be more than "Sunday Catholics" and to educate them on the significance of being a part of the church as community. A special task force has been established and is headed by the PPC Exco. At least 30 trainers will conduct monthly SCC orientation programmes and there will be another 30 mentors to help SCCs get started on being focused on Christ and community service. PPC councillors will also be trained to solicit feedback from parishioners, on home visits too, if necessary, on their understanding of church and other pastoral concerns.
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St. Mary of the Angels
The parish hopes to embark on their Parish Assembly in the beginning of January, and find a common vision and implement it.
There is the hope that the Franciscan friars, who are in charge of the parish, will get to know the parishioners better over the year and formulate a pastoral plan for the parish community.
There will be much renewal in the parish's mission to care for the youth of the parish, to form them through learning experiences of being leaders. The parish also hopes that families will respond well to programmes that aims to help them enhance their married life and relationships.
There are also plans to help parishioners reach a fuller understanding of liturgy.
The parish will continue with "RE-MEMBER", their two-year programme of looking into faith formation and family ties. It focuses on individuals and community renewal.
The programme goes back to the basics of being Catholics, to find the relevance of and to re-learn the faith. It also enables parishioners to realise what it means to be a member of the parish and of the church, and to realise their calling to be involved Catholics.
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Sts. Peter and Paul
Other than once in 1989, this parish has never had RCIA conducted in English, so next year, it hopes to start one. It will cater to those who are in the neighbouring Singapore Management University as well as those who work in the city.
There are also hopes to build up the spirituality of the laity through short courses. The parish hopes to begin the renovation of the church, although approval has not yet been granted.
It will continue with their weekly Novena to the Infant Jesus of Prague. On every first Thursday of the month, Father John Chua will preach on the Sacraments and the prayers for those days will be for the sick. On every second Thursday of the month, parish priest Father Thomas Lim will focus on the centenary celebration of Elizabeth of the Trinity, and prayers will be offered for students.
On every third Thursday of the month, Father Tom Curran will speak about "The Church and the World", and prayers will be offered for vocations. Finally, Fathers Daniel Lim and Anselm Phang will share the role of preaching on the Beatitudes on every fourth Thursday of the month, while praying for workers.
The parish is aiming for spiritual renewal for the parishioners, both as individuals and as a community. It is the hope of the leaders that there will continue to be spiritual revival in the parish.
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Our Lady Star of the Sea
In 2005, the parish began a five-year programme to focus on its youth. This will continue on through next year, but with an additional focus on the family.
The parish is preparing for their Parish Assembly which will take place in January. From there, the common vision of the parishioners will be identified and the PPC will meet to formulate plans to reach this vision.
It is the hope of the priests to be with the people and to listen to them as needed.
Parish priest Father Eugene Chong hopes that his parish can play its part in bringing about greater collaboration for peace and harmony among the races and religions and in working together to serve the same Lord with one heart and mind.
Our Lady Queen of Peace
"Parish Communion" is the theme of focus in 2006. The entire parish is called to come together as one community, rather than to work in isolation within each ministry. There will be talks and cross-ministry retreats to educate different ministries to work alongside one another. The aim is to encourage parishioners to raise ministry projects to a parish level.
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Our Lady of Lourdes
The parish has just started a family group which aims to explore how to overcome the problems that families may face and at the same time, to encourage more family involvement in the parish.
Concerns of young couples, new parents and families with teenagers will be addressed by supplementing families with the support that the diocese has to offer. Couples helping in different ministries will learn how to work together too.
Top of the plans for this parish is the tearing down of Damien Hall and the construction of a new three-storey building. The demolition will take place after Chinese New Year. The new building is expected to take 15 months to complete. It will provide parishioners with more facilities that will unite the community to a greater extent than is possible now.
Parish priest Father Martin Irawan and his fellow priests from the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary hope to improve the structure of the parish in 2006. He also hopes that his parishioners will focus more on family life and the youth this coming year.
St. Francis of Assisi
From the experiences of the past year, the leaders of this parish, together with parish priest Father John Lau, understand the reasons why participation in the neighbourhood groups has been dwindling. They hope 2006 will bring new opportunities to introduce a variety of activities in the neighbourhood groups, that these activities will attract parishioners so that they may truly become SCCs.
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Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The parish of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary intends to work towards harmony among Catholics and non-Catholics alike, striving to be a source of peace in today's troubled world, thereby witnessing to the love of Christ by continuing the good work they have been doing.
St. Joseph (Bukit Timah)
The parish has identified understanding the teachings of the Catholic Church as a key to help strengthen the faith of parishioners and get them to participate in various ministries. There will be Faith Formation and Community-building talks held monthly and Inter-Ministry Functions held for spiritual and social bonding every quarter-year.
There will also be an ongoing outreach programme that includes home visitations to foster relationships with parishioners and to encourage them to carry out activities such as Bible sharing, forming of neighbourhood groups etc. A Ministries' Open House is planned to recruit members into the various church ministries. The parish is also looking forward to celebrating its 160th anniversary on May 7.
The parish's focus is on the "Family" in 2006 because the family has been singled out as the most important entity for the Church with its role to ensure that the young grow up with Catholic morals and beliefs. Surveys were carried out to identify key concerns, and solutions were proposed to address these concerns:
Parents are being encouraged to undergo programmes that will enable them to be more involved in their children's catechism lessons and be in a better position to mould the faith of the young.
There will be a family prayer day and also talks and seminars to inculcate parishioners' awareness of the need to pray as a family.
The parish also plans to customise a Marriage Encounter programme to address problems couples face, including the church's stand on family planning. For couples who have different faiths, the parish hopes to help non-Catholics understand the Catholic faith better before marriage.