Lay leader installed in Wellington

More vocations to the priesthood could result from a shared ministry model being pioneered this year across two Wellington parishes, says Joan McFetridge, manager of the lay leadership formation program Launch Out.

One of the early Launch Out graduates was installed last month as the archdiocese's first lay parish leader. Cushla Quigan will work alongside Msgr Charles Cooper as joint pastoral leaders for the Petone and Eastbourne parishes, in the Hutt Valley pastoral area.

In special services at both parishes, Archbishop John Dew stressed the collaborative nature of the new ministry, as the pair work together to foster and lead prayer life, spirituality, community and formation.

Mrs Quigan will have primary responsibility for Petone's Sacred Heart parish, where she has been a pastoral assistant for the last four years. Msgr Cooper, parish priest of Eastbourne's San Antonio parish, will continue as primary pastoral leader for that parish, and provide sacramental ministry for both parishes.

The move was born out of growing co-operation between the two parishes over the last three years, and four years of comprehensive preparation and formation of Mrs Quigan through Launch Out, a program which has been specifically developed to form lay leaders for parishes and chaplaincies.

The Eastbourne-Petone leadership team will operate as a subgroup within the Hutt Valley pastoral area of eight parishes.

Ms McFetridge describes "pastoral areas" as a "stroke of genius" on the part of Cardinal Thomas Williams and his successor, Archbishop John Dew.

The idea of pastoral areas is that each parish retains its own identity and community, with its own appointed leader. But pastoral responsibility for the area is shared among the clergy and lay leaders, the details of the relationship being determined by the team in conjunction with the parish councils.

"It highlights the significant role of the ordained, and the importance of the sacraments," Ms McFetridge said.

"But it also highlights the increasingly important role lay people must have. This is a call that goes right back to Vatican II."

Lay leader installed in Wellington (NZ Catholic 10/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Wellington

A lay pastoral leader in our parish/pastoral area - what does it mean? (Wel-Com 10/2/06))

14 Mar 2006