By Vivienne Loke 

SINGAPORE - "To be a more welcoming, hospitable and caring community" - this is the vision of how the Church of St. Mary of the Angels would like to see itself in the near future. This was ranked the top pastoral concern by some 350 parishioners.

The choice was made at St. Mary's parish assembly on Jan 10, an occasion when the parishioners gathered to chart a shared vision for their parish.

Attendees spent the morning reflecting on what "vision" meant, distinguishing between a personal vision and a shared vision, and identified St. Mary's top three pastoral priorities. The other priorities identified were greater pastoral care for youth and children, and faith formation and integration through Scripture study and workshops.

Four facilitators - experts in their own areas of professional life - highlighted the findings of a survey of more than 4,500 parishioners completed in September last year. They took attendees from "how I would like" to "how we would like" the parish to be.

The process brought about a lively exchange and friendly banter among the participants on how each would like to see a way forward.

The Parish Pastoral Council will meet next month to discuss the parishioners' visions and priorities, and to elect an executive committee for the implementation.

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