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Taking the local lead


Victor Harbor/Goolwa parish has become the first community in the Archdiocese to hold a local assembly, with more than 95 people attending the gathering on October 30.

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Parishioner Fran Hanna said she was so inspired by the first Diocesan Assembly in 2021, the parish’s three delegates thought it would be a good idea to have their own annual general assembly this year.

Fran said the Parish Pastoral Council invited Archbishop Patrick O’Regan to attend the assembly at the beginning of the year and “within a week he replied that he would be glad to come”.

Archbishop O’Regan, with parish priest Fr Vinh-Quang Tran, celebrated each of the three weekend Masses in the parish and gave an inspiring homily on the transformation of Zachaeus. Florence (Leonie McCallum) gave the Welcome to Country and later sang Amazing Grace in Ngarrandjeri at communion.

The assembly started with lunch at 12pm and continued until afternoon tea time at 3pm with several breaks for people to “stand up and wriggle”.

A parish survey was conducted in preparation for the Assembly. There were two questions:

“We had a good response to the survey and presented a short summary at the parish assembly,” Fran said.

The PPC has pledged to use the survey to review the Parish Action Plan.

Parishioners were also asked to send in questions for the Archbishop beforehand, with the promise that all questions would be accepted.

Fran said the Archbishop’s answers to the questions covered many topics of concern to parishioners.

He also referred them to some of the Archdiocesan groups set up to help parishes with different matters such as the Council for Integral Ecology and Catholic Youth and Young Adult Ministry.

The assembly also included reports from the Finance Committee, the PPC and from Fr Vinh as parish priest.

“The parish assembly was voted a great success,” Fran said.

“One of the themes mentioned by the Archbishop was communion and we certainly felt the spirit of communion at the assembly.

“It was a wonderful chance to meet with each other and to share our concerns, our hopes and dreams with our Archbishop. It was a unique opportunity for us to get to know him. It was also a way of feeling more connected to our Archdiocesan family. Our prayerful gratitude to Archbishop O’Regan for his visit.”

Archbishop O’Regan congratulated the parish for taking the initiative to hold a local assembly, the first of its kind, and said it fitted well with the Archdiocese’s plan for regional assemblies next year.


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