29 November 2008 set in to mark a very significant day and milestone in SHC Parish as the Cathedral Parish consensually and collectively embarked on a new dimension and chapter in the Parish Pastoral Journey. This is not only historical but more of a defining chapter because the mechanism and vehicle to reach out to all Parishioners in SHC Parish in the form of Geographical Parish Family Pastoral Network or PFPN in short was launched during the Sunset Mass on this auspicious day.
This Parish network comprised of 43 manageable zones encompassing 210 Tamans, with over 3000 Catholic families and over 20,000 Catholic population members within the newly demarcated SHC Parish boundary. This is the vehicle formed to develop so as to address 1 of the top 3 Parish Pastoral Priorities (PPP) which is to reach out pastorally to all Catholic members and families especially the estimated so-called 80% non-active or non-participative parishioners in the vicinity of Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish which includes its Sub- Parish, Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI), Jalan Bukit Padang, Kota Kinabalu.
The new 3rd millennium saw the renaming and transforming of SHC Parish Council (PC) to SHC Pastoral Council (PPC) in the year 2000 in line with Vatican Council II guidelines so as to focus more on Pastoral issues in, of and for the Parish.
This started the Parish Pastoral building Process from year 2000 to 2005 when SHC PPC “operationalized” the process of finding, learning & defining Pastoral Care and Scope by initiating & Coordinating the building Process of Diocesan Organizational Pastoral Plan (DOPP) in the Parish with annual Parish Discernment Weekend (PDW).
By 2006, SHC Parish had a major Pastoral Planning Breakthrough during the Parish Discernment Weekend (PDW) from 1st -3rd September where Strategic Parish Pastoral Planning was conducted involving 130 key Parish group leaders with their Parish priest, Clergy and Religious seeking and focusing on (1) Parish Pastoral Priorities (PPP) and (2) Charting out SHC Parish Pastoral Direction in line, in spirit, in form and in substance of DOPP.
By the end of PDW 2006, the 130 delegates together with the Parish Priest, Clergy and Religious of SHC Parish had consensually identified & derived SHC top 3 Parish Pastoral Priorities (PPP) which are: (1) Family issues (2) Catholic Faith Formation. (3) Reaching out to all Parishioners especially the estimated 80% non-active ones.
It was also noted that all these 3 PPP are interconnected, interlinked and interrelated and as such a proper comprehensive and in-depth study has to be conducted to analyze, evaluate, deliberate and discern before relevant, practical and effective proposals can be recommended to address them holistically. Subsequently, PDW 2006 passed a resolution and mandated the PPC to examine into these so as to address the top 3 PPP urgently.
The Top 3 Parish Pastoral Priorities
SHC Parish Pastoral Survey
Prior to detail study of the top 3 PPPs, the PPC felt that a Parish Pastoral Survey to collate proper feedback & status of ‘where our Parish is’ on these 3 PPPs was imminent and imperative. Subsequently, the Parish priest and PPC approved and decided that an official Parish level Pastoral Survey has to be conducted to collate proper feedback on the conditions, situations & status of: ‘where our Parish is’ in the context of the 3 PPP. A proper process of analysis, evaluation, discussion, deliberation and discernment on the findings has to be duly conducted before proposing relevant, feasible, doable and effective recommendations to address them.
After 3 months of intense planning, design and preparation, the first ever SHC Parish Level Pastoral Survey was conducted on 21st and 22nd April 2007, (Saturday and Sunday) involving the following participants:
|PDW 2006 delegates||130|
|21-22 April Weekend Mass attendees||100|
|7.00 am Chinese Mass||100|
|9.00 am English Mass||100|
|10.30 am BM Mass||100|
|St Simon Church evening mass||100|
|CMI Sunset Mass||50|
|CMI 9.00am Sunday Mass||50|
Overall Survey feedback
With good publicity and all round support the survey recorded an excellent response rate of over 85% and managed to reach the targeted age groups with males and females in almost equal ratios (47% M/ 51% FM).
Of the respondents, 57% were from parishioners who do not belong to any Parish church groups whilst the rest belong to one of the many church groups in our parish.
FAMILY ISSUES- 3 most Serious Family problems
- Internet pornography facing young people.
- Internet pornography facing married men.
- Dadah addiction.
CATHOLIC FAITH FORMATION
A very high percentage (35%) did not respond on their level of knowledge of the Catholic faith, whilst only 18% stated that they know the Catholic teachings very well. There is much that can, should and has to be done in this area.
REACHING OUT TO PARISHIONERS
56% of the respondents say they are touched by church teachings & 60% think church teachings have a strong influence on their value system.
However, less than 50% is aware that it is the role of every baptised parishioner to reach out to all others for evangelization.
3 SUBJECTIVE ISSUES STAND OUT:
- The lack of communication between parents and children & the lack of time parents spent with their children/family.
- More should be done by the church (and parishioners) to address the needs of the poor.
- Weekend masses homilies need to be well prepared, relevant and practical.
THE BIRTH OF PFPN CONCEPT
The concept of PFPN was mooted during PDW 2006 and is therefore a cumulative decision in response to a series of resolutions and recommendations from Parish Discernment Weekend (PDW) 2006 to PDW 2008 involving 130 key Parish leaders including the Parish priest, Clergy and Religious.
In response to the mandate from PDW 2006, the PPC formed a special committee to conduct in-depth study on the 3 PPPs. By 11th April 2007 – Parish Family Visit (PFV) emerged dominantly as the vehicle to interlink the 3 top PPPs as well as the process to address them after numerous sessions of brain storming, discussions and deliberations by the special committee and PPC.
The Parish priest together with the PPC approved this proposal and a special task force was formed from the 3 PPP teams to work out the details for this very important Parish Family Visit.
LOGO FOR THE FAMILY VISIT
An official Logo and theme were proposed and adopted for this PFV 2007. Eventually SHC Parish adopted this logo and theme for their 3 PPP. Append below is the official Logo, theme and explanation on the meaning of the Logo.
- God Cares, We Care – this was the theme used and eventually adopted from the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the KK diocese in year 2001.
- The official SHC Logo symbolizes the SHC Parish as well as Sacred Heart of Jesus which burns fervently with Love for His People.
- The four individual figures at the bottom symbolize the basic Family Unit where the two bigger individuals represent the parents (Father and Mother) and the two smaller figures symbolize the children. The different colours of the individuals depict the different races, languages, background and cultures that make up the whole SHC Parish Family
- The lines that are drawn from the Heart to the Family members symbolize two things:
- The power of the Holy Spirit that provides the gift of Faith that enables the evangelization effort of the Parish and the Communication of the Love of God to His people in the Parish
- The Homes of the families are depicted with six different shades of Red lines of different lengths that symbolize the rooftops and the multiple types of Homes respectively in and of the Parish.
After detail discussion and discernment, the date for Parish Family Visit (PFV) was agreed to be from mid August to October 2007 to visit and reach out to all SHC Parishioners families and at the same time to conduct a proper Census for Catholic members in the whole of SHC Parish.
With 4 series of briefing, training and formation, SHC Parish managed to motivate, inspire and recruit 500 strong volunteers to help out in this huge and ambitious Pastoral exercise of PFV 2007. With all round strong support and cooperation from all SHC parishioners, the PFV 2007 identified and covered 1518 Catholic families in the Parish with lots of positive feedback.
JELLING UP THE PFPN CONCEPT
By early 2008 and overwhelmed by the PFV 2007, SHC Parish had come to realize that there was no more option but to proceed and move on to set up a Parish geographical network to facilitate and to address 1 of the 3 consensually identified Parish Pastoral Priorities (PPP) – the most urgent need of reaching out to SHC parishioners pastorally especially the estimated 80% within the parish boundary.
It was during the PDW stretching from 23 – 26 April 2008 that the proposed name of Parish Family Pastoral Network (PFPN) was adopted as the officially name for this new network. Thus this new concept and acronym of PFPN was confirmed and jelled up at PDW 2008 and took a new identity and meaning in and for SHC Parish.
Key recommendations on PFPN ‘key Mechanism’ of Reaching out pastorally to all parishioners were tabled at PPC meeting on 12/09/08 and these were approved for implementation by the Rector/Assistant Rector/PPC at the SHC Parish Pastoral Council meeting held on 30th October 2008. Thus PFPN was finally and officially launched on 29 November 2008 during the Sunset Mass which was witnessed by all who were attending the Eucharist.
PFPN is therefore a parish level geographical mechanism / network to reach out to all SHC parishioners pastorally in line, in spirit, in form and in substance for the pursuit & realization of the vision & mission of the Diocese Organizational Pastoral Plan (DOPP) focusing on our 3 PPP.
PFPN is a Network made up of: PFPN CORE TEAM of 12; 43 Zones Coordinators; 210 Taman Coordinators; Clusters Families (5 to 10 per cluster) covering 3000 Catholic families.
OBJECTIVES OF PFPN
There are 5 key objectives/ rationale for PFPN among others.
- To form, develop & inculcate an effective, efficient and practical Permanent Parish Family Pastoral Network (PFPN) in, of and for the SHC Parish to reach out to all parishioners pastorally especially the 80% non-active ones.
- To tap into this NEW dimension of growth in and of our Parish. Getting new pool of people involved with the Church especially the non-group majority to help address the top 3 PPP which are INTERCONNECTED, INTERRELATED AND INTERLINKED.
- To create a sense of care & ‘personal touch’ in our Parish and to instill a sense of identity & belonging to the SHC Parish. To change from ‘cold’ to ‘warm’ reception and at the same time live this New approach of being church (DOPP). By Reaching out we can show people that we care.
- To provide a 2-way communication platform/ Channel:
- From the Parish to Parishioners (seminar/ formation/talks/events/etc).
- From Parishioners to Parish. (social problems, emergencies &bereavement feedback from PFPN to SHC Parish PFPN
The journey through grief and bereavement provides an excellent opportunity for people to reflect and review not only on life but also the meaning of life…this offers a golden opportunity for Evangelization.
This offers front contacts for some family members who may have been distracted from the church for years……Bereavement matters pull all concern people to gather together – this offers a subtle but powerful form of evangelization to all these people coming to pay their last respects, mourning…and give support.
- To ensure proper, updated Catholic Population census in SHC parish by using and mobilizing PFPN to identify, locate and know who, where & how many Catholic parishioners in SHC Parish.
ROLE OF PFPN
The primary role of PFPN among others is to lead to coordinate concerted and directed SHC Parish pastoral efforts, talents and energies to complement, to supplement, NOT to compete but to enhance the pastoral care and works at the Parish level to address the 3 PPP which many parish groups have invariably been conducting in their own charism including the sign language group.
PFPN is therefore formed to ensure that SHC Parish reaches out pastorally not only to SOME but to All Catholic members and families within the Parish boundary.
As the Mother Parish of the Archdiocese it is also the role of PFPN to work in tandem with the other 2 PPP, the Parish Priest, Clergy, Religious, PPC, Parish group leaders from the 4 language groups to bring the Parish to a higher and more mature level in our pastoral journey in the process of addressing the top 3 PPP and in line with the DOPP especially now that Kota Kinabalu Diocese had been erected to Archdiocese.
PFPN also plays a pivotal role to provide a Parish Pastoral channel leading to motivate the Heart of Man to search for the Heart of God especially the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
VISION FOR PFPN
With the concept, structure, objectives and roles of PFPN defined, the PFPN has put in place its vision. The PFPN vision is – A Caring and Christ-Centered Parish Geographical Family Pastoral Networking Community journeying together as Church to reach out in faith, hope and love to all SHC Parish Catholic families and members addressing the 3 PPP in the evangelizing mission of building the kingdom of God.
THE WAY FORWARD
With the launching of PFPN, 300 strong new non group parishioners/ leaders together with 200 from Parish groups responded positively to support and to work together hand in hand in PFPN to spearhead this new dimension of pastoral growth in Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) parish.
This new pool of volunteers given the right formation and training would contribute new energy, commitment, concepts and ideas to give a fresh start and boost to the reaching out process to be benefitted and felt by all the Catholic members and families in all the 43 zones.
Now that SHC Parish is demarcated into 43 manageable zones, we sincerely hope, work and pray that all SHC Parishioners including those of sub Parish CMI would response positively to support and to extend their kind co-operation to PFPN which has been assigned to lead and coordinate all Parish level pastoral reach out process and events.
Let’s all be mindful that PFPN is formed to compliment, supplement and to boost up Parish Pastoral growth and NOT to compete with Parish groups. We hope that with all round support and response from all Parish 43 groups and 66 languages communities, SHC Parish could work effectively and efficiently as a united and integrated Parish Family to facilitate new pastoral growth in, of and for our parish.
We invite everyone and anyone who is interested to join and share your ideas, talents, time and effort with PFPN as Taman and Zone coordinators to kindly contact our PFPN coordinator, Johnny Chong in SHC Parish for more details.
We look forward to warmly reaching out to one and all Catholic members and families in our Parish through PFPN with effective and efficient parish level pastoral initiatives and process in this Year Of Faith (YOF) and beyond.
Dr. Damian Lee
CHAIRMAN, SHC PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL