Participation in the Diocese’s Reflective Ministry program continues to be on offer

By Donnie Velasco, 24 August 2021

 

Ongoing registrations to the program can be made via https://tinyurl.com/RMIFM

Reflective Ministry is a leadership development program ideal for those current or looking to be involved in ministry.

“This program is open to anybody in love with wanting to nurture wisdom and a relationship with God,” says Christine, who participated in the Reflective Ministry program earlier this year.

Tracing back the origins of the program to the formation of the Diocese of Parramatta in 1986, the late Bishop Bede Heather made the decision to create a training and learning centre dedicated to the faith formation of adults in the diocese. Under the different names of Parramatta Pastoral Institute (PPI), Institute for Mission (IFM) and now more recently, Pastoral Formation (PF), the work dedicated to adult faith formation continues.

As a way of supporting parish communities, particularly during this time of COVID, the Reflective Ministry program continues to be offered as a free, online and self-paced experience. Participants in the program cover the areas of spirituality, scripture and pastoral skills and insights delivered by seasoned presenters, many of which are local experts in their respective fields.

Catholic Outlook has spoken to participants who have engaged in the Reflective Ministry program earlier in the year. Their responses are shared below.

 

Sally from Blacktown

Catholic Outlook: What were one or two highlights of the Reflective Ministry for you?

Sally: I like the idea of having put some time aside to connect with my faith and to reflect on the themes throughout the sessions. Sr Patty Andrew osu presented some deep theological aspects that I hadn’t studied previously and then she moved to the more practical. I loved the music and prayer as well as the Zoom evenings where I could connect with other participants. I have my heart of stone and the soft heart on my desk – they are great concrete reminders to me of how I should open my heart.

I loved the end of each segment when Donnie [Velasco] and Sr Grace [Roclawska csfn] reflected on what they’d taken from the session, the reflection prompts you gave me were very helpful.

 

CO: What impact did the Reflective Ministry program have on your relationship with God?

S: I have a practical relationship with God, I found the music shared, especially the Barbara Streisand song really moved me. Our faith is open to all not just to or exclusively to the people in our Church.

I would like to attend again if it is in the face-to-face format.

 

CO: How has the program encouraged your practical expression of life and faith in the world?

S: [The program] has made me a little more tolerant/understanding of those that might not recognise the face of God in the every day. We don’t have to spell it out or be overt to express our faith.

 

CO: What encouragement would you share with someone who’s undecided on whether they should do Reflective Ministry?

S: I would say give it a go and try to see it through. If you can’t manage it, you can try again at another time. It is for your own nourishment, no one is forcing you.

 

Christine from Ashfield

Catholic Outlook: What were one or two highlights of the Reflective Ministry for you?

C: Many, I recall active listening, kerygma (κήρυγμα), non-judgemental approach (video with the father + the kids in the train/subway).

 

CO: What impact did the Reflective Ministry program have on your relationship with God?

C: Everything is connected and interrelated, trust God and stick to His principles, you can not go wrong keeping Him.

God is Art / Beauty and He is immense and sometimes surprisingly incomprehensible His ways.

 

CO: How has the program encouraged your practical expression of life and faith in the world?

C: I now have a better understanding of family as a concept and from the Christian perspective.

I printed all the prayers and posted in our kitchen.

I see Scripture teachers now from a fresh perspective.

Conflict and life mission statement (as taught/presented, core concepts of the course in my view) strengthened my life philosophy.

 

CO: What encouragement would you share with someone who’s undecided on whether they should do Reflective Ministry?

C: Immerse yourself in this journey…you will develop critical thinking skills and discernment as top virtue. Every line, question, video is an invitation to personal reflection and an opportunity to discover the depths of your soul…how would you understand somebody else, expect to manage a (high) conflict if you haven’t succeeded yet in knowing yourself?! This program is open to anybody in love with wanting to nurture wisdom and a relationship with God.

 

Registrations to this free online program can be made via https://tinyurl.com/RMIFM

You are also welcome to contact Donnie Velasco on donnie.velasco@parracatholic.org or 0432 042 140 for more information.

Donnie Velasco is a Pastoral Formation Officer in the Diocese of Parramatta’s Mission Enhancement Team (MET).

 

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