Wellington offers extra parish formation programmes

Parish formation opportunities are at the fore of the Wellington Catholic archdiocese’s plans for 2024.

Its Church Mission team offers a range of learning and development programmes.

All focus on parish formation.

In providing the programmes, the Archdiocesan Church Mission team responds to findings in the archdiocese’s 2017 synod and the 2021-24 global synod.

Both synods highlighted the need for lay people’s formation.

The formation opportunities for lay parishioners have had to be carefully thought through.

The archdiocese says they must be accessible and flexible while covering academic, spiritual and pastoral dimensions.

Parish formation opportunities in 2024

The Church Mission team programmes include workshops on topics such as marriage enrichment, the teachings of Pope Francis, hospitality and developing pastoral plans – among others.

The module ‘Creating and Implementing a Parish Pastoral Plan’ aims to help communities in the post-Covid environment, the Mission teams says.

That module also aims to help parish communities that have had to amalgamate, given that Parish Councils are feeling the need to revisit their pastoral plans or create new ones to meet parish needs better and become more mission-focused.

“Whichever course or courses people choose to attend, they can expect to receive pastoral and spiritual formation and be equipped to serve in ministry” the Mission team says.

Those running the courses are very well qualified.

Programme engagement

There are various ways to engage with the programmes.

Parish leadership teams should contact the Church Mission team directly to organise a locally-based workshop for their community.

The team also runs public workshops during the year.

For other courses – such as the “Called & Equipped” new formation programme for lay people in Parishes – the parish leadership teams recommend potential candidates from their parish communities to the Church Mission team.

The Mission team says the workshops are usually a one-evening seminar or perhaps a day with the Parish Council regarding pastoral planning.

Called & Equipped can be taken in one or two years.

The Launch Out programme usually takes five to eight years and is a major commitment.

The Mission team stresses it is important that people realise Called & Equipped and Launch Out are both complete programmes.

Success stories

The various programmes are definitely paying off for the archdiocese’s Catholics.

The Mission team points to three parishes that started working through their Parish Pastoral Plans this year.

They are enthusiastically implementing a new vision for their parishes.

There are 31 Launch Out graduates and six current candidates. All graduates are engaged in active ministry.

22 of the graduates are or have been employed by the Church.


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