Parish Awakening

This page will be used to record some of the success and developments within our Parish - St Patrick's, Oamaru. This will include:
  • Parish School Relationship - weekly mass
  • Prayer Partners for the Sacramental programme
  • Renewal of the Parish Council
Scroll down to read the parish progress from 2014-2015.
February 2016 Wading into Deeper Waters

Parish Council members gather for the first meeting of 2016
Last night our Parish Council met for the first time for the new year. We met in Ruma Koru - the St Joseph's school community room. We watched a video of Matthew Kelly sharing the story from the opening of his book Rediscover Catholicism. This video was from the free Decision Point Confirmation programme produced by Dynamic We agreed to share this powerful video during a homily at mass and give parishioners time to respond to each other about it.
We listened to the scripture reading from Luke 5:4-7 and had a discussion about the meaning of this passage for us. Here are a few of the responses: We need to put out into deep water; this is a form of evangelisation; people are the fish in our community; we need to put the nets out in our own parish; society can be shallow at times - we need to help move society into deep water.
Individual reports were shared and then Tony and Tim informed us about the results of the synthesis of parish feedback data from the end of 2015.
Council members check reports in readiness for the meeting
The sub committee did a wonderful job of collating and synthesising the feedback.
Five clear categories emerged from the data:
1. Community 70
2. Trinity 31
3. Sacraments 119
4. Bricks and Mortar 53
5. Ministry 35
This has provided us with a snapshot of what is significant for our community. We decided to share these findings with the parishioners at mass.
We agreed we need to reflect on the next steps and understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to us. We believe there is a link between this data and the small steps of change beginning to happen in the school with our families through the sacramental programme, induction meetings and planned baptism meetings.
The final results from the synthesis of Parish feedback
We finished by linking back to the scripture - we need to step in deep waters, we need to create disturbance, nudge our community to move out of our comfort zones and respond with passion and purpose to the call of Jesus and the power of the spirit. We feel enlightened and energised as a group. We will continue to take small steps forward in this collaborative and caring community at St Patrick's Catholic Parish, Oamaru.

End 2014
Towards the end of 2014, Rev Wayne Healey (Fr Wayne) called a parish meeting to revisit the vision of the parish. At the time, the Parish Council had very few members and needed to be reenergised. The new look Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) formed with representatives from all key parish groups. These include: Catholic Women's League, Liturgy, Education, Caritas, Holy Shop, Hospitality, Finance, Works, Young Vinnies, Greeters, faith and Service, Justice and Peace, Parishioner and Rosters
Each leader prepares a brief report to email through to the group before the meeting.
March 2015
After some major renovations to the presbytery, the kitchen became a meeting room with a purposely designed very large table. At our March meeting, there were seventeen parish leaders seated around the table enthusiastically discussing the joy of the gospel in relation to the Bishop's synod, the Rebuilt book and next steps with regard to awakening the faithful in our parish. Earlier in the year, Fr Wayne had given all of us a copy of the book - Rebuilt by White and Corcoran. Each of us had a chance to share an extract from the book that resonated with us. We agreed to hold future meetings in the Koru Lounge (St Joseph's school community room), where we had access to a whiteboard and data projector to watch some videos including Matthew Kelly's Dynamic Catholic site (thanks to Tim McEvoy).
November 2015
We spent a couple of months taking part in the 'Called by Christ' programme as part of our Dunedin Diocesan Synod events. Two parish representatives, Jocelyn and Jan, attended all of the meetings in Dunedin and were our key coordinators for the programme. Small discussion groups were set up in parishioner's homes, to discuss the joy of the gospel. This was followed by guest speakers who ran a series of sessions in Oamaru. Overall, our positive attendance by parishioners was recognised across the diocese. Next, questions from Pope Francis were shared at mass. Over a couple of weeks, parishioners were invited to talk to each other during the homily about their responses to the questions. Pieces of paper were provided to record our thoughts. These are being collated by the PPC.
and a visual representation of the feedback developed as next steps in going forward as a parish.
The plan for 2016 is to celebrate 800 years of the Dominicans with a parish and school event in 2016.
December 2015
Fr Wayne's vision to enter a Parish float in the annual Christmas Parade became a reality. You can read more about it on this link. Inspired by this message and the messages from reading Matthew Kelly's Rediscover Catholicism, I designed a bookmark to give to our school families at our end of year mass. Fr Wayne ordered more of these for the parishioners and these were given out at the Christmas masses.


  1. Excellent resume, jenny


  2. Excellent resume, jenny

  3. Thanks for all of your inspiring work Jocelyn. Together we can all make a difference.