The #DivineRenovation (#DRSA19) mission continued at Holy Redeemer parish in Bergvliet, Cape Town on Sunday 20 January 2019 with the start of the catechetical year. Known to the parish as “Kick-off Sunday”, the morning served as an opportunity for families to register for catechism classes (for children), Life Teen (for teenagers) and a new season of Alpha (for adults).
Those who attended the special 10am Mass were warmly greeted – whether visitors or long-time parishioners! Fr Anthony Padua, the new parish priest, brought a new energy to the Mass – with many parishioners commenting afterwards that they felt a sense of belonging at Holy Redeemer. At the beginning of Mass the congregation were given the opportunity to greet each other and introduce themselves to someone they hadn’t met before. This created quite a buzz throughout the church.
Fr Anthony’s homily was all about God not keeping silent or quiet until His righteousness goes forth like brightness (from Holy Redeemer) and His salvation like a burning torch, taken from Isaiah 62 vs 1 and 2.
During Mass, it was awesome to feel the whole congregation worshipping God together – with exuberance and passion when it came to singing praise to God.
The Holy Spirit has certainly introduced some excitement in the parish – a feeling that seems to be running through the whole parish. As a community, we are excited about Divine Renovation and what God is doing in the church.
After Mass, tea and coffee was served by the Alpha Group and the ever popular bacon and egg rolls were on sale. It was a great morning of greeting and getting to know each other as people gathered in the parish centre to register for the different activities – we look forward to a full and spirit-filled year together.
The Redemptorist Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in Bergvliet, Cape Town officially launched theirDivine Renovation campaign on the first Sunday of Advent and weeks later, the parish is still buzzing over the excitement.
The two morning Masses were combined into one special Mass at 10h00 and all those who attended Mass received a warm welcome and name tag on arrival. This was was in keeping with the theme for the day, which was taken from Isaiah 43:1: ‘I have called you by name and you are mine’. This was the first step in the parish “Game Plan” (one of the key steps in the Divine Renovation process, as Fr James Mallon explains in his book, and which he explained at the Divine Renovation conference which took place in August this year) – becoming an invitational church.
Parish Priest, Fr. Gerard McCabe’s homily was about God calling us by name to become (more)missional. During Mass, the Core Group, who are steering the movement of Divine Renovation in the Parish, were presented to the congregation and commissioned by Fr Gerard.
At the Sign of Peace the congregation was given the opportunity to greet each other by name – a real opportunity to meet fellow parishioners. The excitement and joy that filled the church in that moment was especially overwhelming and inspiring. During Holy Communion each person received the Body and Blood of Christ by name. To many parishioners this was the highlight of the day. Those not receiving communion were also encouraged to come forward for a blessing from the ministers – and this too, was received by name.
It was truly a Mass filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
After Mass, the congregation was invited to enjoy refreshments in the parish hall, where everyone could mingle and meet new and old faces – as well as meet those who are involved in various ministries in the parish – from LifeTeen, Alpha, the StVincent de Paul Society, Proclaimers of the Word, Men for Change among many others.
Overall, the morning was a wonderful revival of parish community life at Holy Redeemer – injecting anew welcoming spirit, a new energy into the parish and an excitement to look forward to what God has planned for the future.
The Church should be missional by default. Our focus is meant to be always outward. The Divine Renovation Conference is a great time to reflect on part in the mission. It is a clarion call to all who are passionate about the future of the Church.
A little over a year ago, I sat frustrated at the fact that although I was leading a vibrant and alive youth ministry program in my parish. Once confirmed, many of our teens would slowly stop attending church within 2-3 years. We, as youth leaders, were building relationships with teens, but some would still leave after confirmation and I had realised that something wasn’t working. After a lot of prayer and difficult conversations with past teens, I realised that although they felt that they belonged in our youth ministry program, some didn’t always feel the same about church.
As we get closer to the Divine Renovation Conference in August, we’re excited to announce the Divine Renovation Book Launch in Cape Town. We’ve had great book launches in Johannesburg and Durban, and we can’t wait for 17th of July. Divine Renovation: bringing your parish from maintenance to mission, is the book out of which the conference was born out of. The conference is designed to be helpful in giving practical tools and tips on how to put to action principles of parishioners’ mobilisation, which leads to parish renewal. At the book launch will get a peek into the book .
Fr James, parish priest of Our Lady of Walsingham, was originally suspicious about Alpha because it didn’t originate in the Catholic Church. Another priest gave him the book Divine Renovation by Fr Mallon and it became apparent that Alpha was instrumental in the evangelisation plan at Fr Mallon’s parish.
Fr James decided to gather a group of people from his parish and to try Alpha together. Watch his story to find out the impact it had on his priesthood and parish.