Pope Paul VI spoke the words “The Church Exists to Evangelise”. Its about nurturing our faith in God and growing in intimacy with our Lord Jesus. One of the revelations for the church has been the emergence world-wide of Parish Cells of Evangelisation.
When on sabbatical in the Holy Land in the early 90’s I met a parishioner from San Eustorgio’s Parish in Milan. He was so fired up about the Parish Cells of Evangelisation- so having a couple of weeks to spare at the end of my sabbatical I just had to ‘go and see’. At Milan I was warmly received by the parish priest and his core committee it was music to my ears to experience the movement of the holy spirit witnessed by a parish whose parishioners where so active in their outreach to others and the taking on of parish Ministries.
Our Cathedral parish seeks to Evangelise, I, Fr Solomon with our Parish Pastoral Council constantly try to answer the question on many lips – “When our time is up-who will be here to look after the parish?” Indeed, on the Parish Council table for study and debate is a book titled “Building stronger parishes”- Please pray for our Parish Council in its deliberations.
It is a fact, around the world, Parish Cells of Evangelisation has benefited many parishes. Starting as small groups of parishioners meeting weekly or fortnightly in the home of one of them. They sing and pray, read a passage of Scripture and share their reflections on it and on their lives, they listen to a recorded talk by their priest and discuss it. Finally, they close the meeting sharing light refreshments – supporting and helping one another in time of need.
They watch out for others and invite parishioners to “come and see” and to stay if they think it is for them. Numbers grow in this way, being careful to when it grows to over twelve members – to split into two groups or “multiply” like the cells of the body. In this way the number of “cells” increases, and once more become agents of Evangelisation.
Only this week, Fr Solomon and I met with the three leaders of the Parish Cells here in Sale.
We were blown away to hear their groups have been going 21 years. Their membership is good but of course they are wanting to increase which is the spirit and purpose of Parish Cells of Evangelisation – My question to all of you is why not consider becoming a member? – Being open to the Holy Spirit you can be a vital member and if you see fit to give it a try, welcome any invitation you may receive from leaders : Margaret Goss, Rosemary Webster and Mirella Zegafredo I will pray you will step out of your comfort zone to walk a while with them and their Parish Cell groups – I’m certain the spirit will move you and reward you and the parish will benefit by your ministry.
After all it is PRAYER that grows parishes – start by reciting daily our parish prayer – Trust in the lord and all will be well – all will be well
The Lord – is our strength
Dean Peter