Listen & Discern: Prayerful & Eucharistic
Responding to the Plenary Council 2020 call for Australian Catholics to participate in the second phase preparation: Listening and Discernment, six St Bridget’s parishioners met after the 10am Mass Sunday October 27 to discern one of six themes: How is God calling us to be a Christ-centered Church that is prayerful and Eucharistic?
The communal discernment is part of the process of communal discernment and it followed the practical steps offered by the Council’s Facilitation Team geared to move forward in each thematic area.
The conclusion of the process resulted in national and local (parish) recommendations. The national recommendations will be submitted to Council’s Discernment and Writing group, while the local recommendations will be offered to the Parish Council for discussion.
Submission for the theme: Prayerful and Eucharistic
National scope proposals.
Celebrating the Eucharist is core to our faith, yet many parishes are without resident priests. To assist these parishes, more laypeople need to be trained to become capable leaders of Eucharistic services. Although parishioners prefer priests, lay leaders with a good liturgical grounding and ongoing clerical support could also act as guides in “opening the scriptures” and spiritual centring on the mystery of the Eucharist.
We recommend the formation of scripture reflection groups which gather during the week prior to the weekend masses. Such groups can help prepare for and assist a deeper understanding of the Sunday scriptures and homilies. Such a group could serve the needs of multiple parishes in an area. Leaders will need training in the process of prayer, contemplation and sharing.
We encourage a continued focus on homilies that are concise and which draw out messages from scripture that are relevant to modern Christian living.
Local actions proposed:
In as much as music encourages a more prayerful, open and contemplative stance, we believe it is an important consideration for this theme. However, the group was not able to come up with a concrete action other than making it an item for further discussion.
Encourage parishioners to observe ‘quiet time’ from 10 minutes before Mass, to enable prayerful, quiet reflection.
Observe a few moments silence after the homily to encourage reflection on what we have heard.
Observe a few moments silence at the after the distribution of communion.