Wednesday, January 23, 2013

BIS # 3328 - PAVING THE WAY FOR SMALL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES

BIS Mumbai                                  

BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE # 3328

PAVING THE WAY FOR SMALL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES

 

Amira Peter

 

NORTHERN ARABIAN VICARIATE JANUARY 21, 2012 :   On Thursday January 17, 2013 Fr. Franco Pereira conducted an introductory session on Small Christian Communities for the St. Thérèse Parish in the Northern Vicariate. It was attended by about eighty parishioners from across the parish.

 

Fr. Franco very eloquently took us through the history of Small Christian Communities to their objectives, their roles & responsibilities and the current vision for our parish.

 

The presentation began with the historical foundation of Small Christian Communities that were set up by the early Christians as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2: 42-47). These early Christian Communities were characterized by love, sharing and fellowship.

 

He went on to explain how the early Small Christian Communities were witnesses to Christ and divided their belongings according to the needs of their members; they were small groups that huddled together to listen to the Word of God and to worship.

 

Using those principles as building blocks, modern-day Small Christian Communities have been designed to include four basic characteristics – neighbourhood, gospel sharing, link to the church and service to the community.

 

Fr. Franco also touched upon some of the challenges faced by SCCs across the globe. These included constraints of space and time, dearth of volunteers and declining enthusiasm in some cases. 

 

Nevertheless, he encouraged us to view these challenges as opportunities. He reiterated that in this Year of Faith, we the faithful have been called upon to renew our faith and charity through the slow and steady building of a network of Small Christian Communities in our parish.

 

To enable this, two more sessions providing detailed information and guidelines on setting up the Small Christian Communities in our Parish are being conducted in the month of February.

 

The vision is to launch the first SCC meeting in our Parish by March. At the end, an appeal was made for volunteers to coordinate the Small Christian Community’s activities.  The evening ended with the Parish Priest thanking Fr. Franco for guiding the Parish in this new and meaningful endeavor!

 

"Internal to the parish, especially if vast and territorially extensive, small Church communities, where present, can be a notable help in the formation of Christians by providing a consciousness and an experience of ecclesial communion and mission which are more extensive and incisive" (Pope John Paul II, The Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People, 61).

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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