Church of Visitation Parish Pastoral Assembly - 15th October 17


The Parish Pastoral Assembly (PPA) held on the 15th October 2017, was attended by some 400-people comprising of Zones leaders, BEC coordinators, leaders of various Ministries and parishioners of Church of the Visitation. The assembly held in the Visitation Community Hall was also attended by His Grace Most Rev. Archbishop Julian Leow, Monsignor Mitchell Joseph, the Archdiocese Pastoral Assembly (APA) team, Parish Priests – Rev. Fr. George Harrison and Rev. Fr. Andrew Kooi. The assembly started with a mid-day prayer and followed by a welcoming message by Rev. Fr. George Harrison. Monsignor Mitchell then addressed the participants the objectives of Parish Pastoral Assembly. He briefed on the history of the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Convention (PMPC) which was first held in 1976 at Port Dickson. At PMPC I, five (5) elements of concerns were identified - Christ Centred Community, Formation, Integral Human Development for the poor, Dialogue with Christians and non-Christians and Active role of all Parishioners, Laity, Bishop, Religious and Priests. Subsequently, the PMPC held every 10 years thereafter added another three (3) elements - Youth, Social Communication and Family Life.
At the last PMPC (IV) held in 2016, a call to change the face of the Malaysian Church with a renewed vision and mission to restore hope in God and human values was made. The following ways were identified to achieve its objectives:

Creativity - New ways to face complexities, thinking out of the box, uniqueness of current reality.

Inclusivity - Integration of human beings, welcoming as Christ, receive all regardless of race/creed/colour/gender. Unity – to see God’s hope through us as Christians.

Bridge building – Reaching out to establish goodwill and rapport, mending brokenness and dialogue.

Prior to PMPC IV, the Archdiocese Pastoral Assembly (APA) held in 2016 at Holy Family Church, Kajang, outlined a 5 years direction plan, comprising of 8 cluster groups - BEC, Inter Religious Dialogue (IRD), Family Life, Formation, Youth, PIHD, Social Communication and Unity. The direction plan involves 4 stages - Planning (2017), Implementation (2017 to 2019), Development (2020 to 2021) and Review (2022).

A directive manual printed in 4 languages, called “MOVING FORWARD” has been prepared. It will be launched in November 2017 by His Most Rev. Archbishop Julian and distributed to the 8 Cluster Groups. In it, will contain the purpose and tasks at Archdiocese Level, at respective Churches and in the different Ministries.

At the assembly, the participants were divided into their respective cluster groups for sharing and discussion of area of concerns, action plans and to set the timeline within the next 5 years. Moderator or representative from each of the cluster group then presented their findings and action plans. They were John Maynard (BEC), Christopher Krishnan (IRD), Joshua and Roshel (Youth), Gerald Victor (Family Life), Mary Rajoo (Formation), Patricia Lee (PIHD), Agnes Fernandez (Social Communication) and Nathan (Unity).  
Archbishop Julian Leow, in his speech said the “MOVING FORWARD” book is a 10 Year Plan for all the 8-cluster groups. Turning to the youths, he emphasised, Youths are the Leaders of Today. They have dreams and ideals. He wants the youth to continue the journey to build on the shoulders of the seniors / elders of the Visitation Church.”

Archbishop also called to attention about the Inter-Religious Dialogues. There are guidelines on how to communicate and dialogue with people of other faiths. He stressed that we must be clear in our understanding and to continue to be the link, offering the hand of friendship to all other faiths. Archbishop Julian gave example of some Churches who are already “Bridge Builders” like The Church of Visitation, Church of Divine Mercy, Shah Alam and Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Puchong. He highlighted, “Bridge Builders is a call for every Christian and Church to work together. Catholics are well positioned to dialogue with all religions and that our role is to bring about peace and respect”.

After thanking, each one for their effort and contribution, Rev. Fr. George Harrison concluded with a prayer and final blessing. The assembly which started about 2.00 pm ended at about 5.00 pm with group photos and refreshments.