Ministry formation helps and unites sprawling Wairarapa parish

A Ministry Formation Day last Saturday helped parishioners in their liturgical and pastoral ministries.

A bonus was that parishioners from all five towns in the Wairarapa parish worked together for the first time since the parish was formed in 2015.

Ministry formation is necessary because most of us think of our involvement in the Church in the same way as volunteering in the community, says Wairarapa’s new parish priest Dennis Nacorda.

“We need to understand that involvement in the ministry in the Church is far deeper than that.

“To be involved in any ministry is a response from the common call we share, whether ordained or lay, in baptism.”

Nacorda says ministry formation is one way the Church equips parishioners and prepares them to serve in various ministries.

“This process helps parishioners discern and cultivate their unique gifts and charisms for the service of others.

“The formation process typically involves spiritual, intellectual, pastoral and human development, ensuring that individuals are well-rounded and capable of effectively ministering to others.

“It includes theological education, spiritual direction, practical training and ongoing formation to deepen one’s relationship with God and grow in holiness.

“By engaging in ministry formation, individuals respond to the call to serve Christ and His Church, living out the Gospel in their daily lives and witnessing to the love and mercy of God.”

Enthusiastic response

Those at the ministry formation workshops were positive about their experience.

“The questions about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it really made me think. And the talk about safekeeping was important. Not everyone is up to speed with safekeeping, especially if they’ve been out of the workforce for a while” said one participant.

“It’s good that we’re all starting from a shared understanding” said another.

“It was a positive experience – warm and enthusiastic.”

“It’s wonderful we came together to learn and deepen our understanding of our ministries and faith as a parish family – and to know we’ll keep meeting, greeting and learning.”

Wellington Archdiocesan staff Kevin Plant and Lucienne Hensel led workshops.

Strong turnout

Delighted with the 50-strong turnout on a Saturday morning, parish pastoral chair Peter McCardle says the day marked the first of many combined parish activities.

“It’s an exciting and significant moment” he says.

“Our parish plan for the next couple of years includes many lay activities which will see us join together much more often.”

These activities include workshops and development opportunities to further extend parishioners’ ministry and formation training.

Long term goal

Nacorda says the parish’s goal for ministry formation is to practise synodality in the parish.

“When we start looking at the Church from the same perspective, it makes it easier for each one to work more collaboratively and in a synodal way” he says.


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