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Parish Evangelisation Team

Bishop Mark O'Toole's 'Go Make Disciples' pastoral message of May 2017 is available here

The Alpha course running Spring 2018 is the first major project being launched by the Parish Evangelisation Team.

Nearly 50 parishioners attended the opening meeting on Thursday January 12th 2017.  Fr Jon Bielawski, the Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation, described how 36 other parishes in the Diocese have now set up Parish Evangelisation Teams (PETs) and suggested a format for us to follow.  Such teams are one of the priorities of our new Bishop and both the recent 'New Evangelisation' parish talk series by Fr Dylan, and the Forming Intentional Disciples sessions, have sought to lay a foundation for this.  

A word document version of this page can be viewed here

The new team has been meeting monthly since 2017.

PET Steering Group: Fr Dylan, Michael Luckie & Maris O’Brien

Shared Experiences: Encounters

The key part of our future PET meetings will be the sharing of our personal experiences, successes and failures, of evangelisation in everyday life.  As in the book reading groups, we will share these in turn going around the circle, listening without commenting on each other.  Other parishes have found that this listening experience is in itself a good way of reflecting on what we are doing.

What to bring to the meetings?

Please come to the meeting with one experience to share with the group.  The experience should be of some encounter in which you attempted to live out our vocation to share Jesus Christ with another person, some attempt you made to enable that person to encounter the Lord by what you said and did.

What sort of experiences might we share with the group?


   Some encounter you had with someone in the past month:

·      An attempt to talk to someone about the Lord:

o   that went well, or, that went poorly

o   when you were brave, or, when you weren’t


·      What did you say in the encounter?

o   What did you refrain from saying?

o   What do you think you could have better said?


·      Who did you meet, and where? How long did you talk?

o   What encounters did you miss?



·      Note: we will be listening, not commenting on other people's encounters 


Format of the Monthly Meetings

(1) Brief Prayer 

(2) Sharing Encounters

a.    We will split into smaller groups and in each group we will each share, in turn, an experience from the past month

b.    This sharing of experiences is the heart of the meeting Optional Spiritual Reflection 

(3) Optional Spiritual Reflection

a.    Some meetings we will have a short reading

b.    The reading will be followed by a period of silence, and an opportunity to share (but not discuss)

(4) Planning

a.    After we have had a number of the meetings we will add a ‘planning’ section to the meeting

b.    Planning will involve considering what opportunities we might seek to create for parish-wide evangelisation opportunities

(5) Adoration

a.    10-15 minutes Adoration of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, closing with Benediction

b.    “It is the Lord!”(Jn 21:7) we are leading others to, and He is the One with whom we must begin and end our thoughts on Evangelisation



The purpose of these teams isn't necessarily to do the evangelising for the parish but rather to lead the parish in helping to transform all the different activities in the parish to be directed toward the goal of evangelisation.  As Pope Francis said in Evangelii Gaudium, the New Evangelisation must “transform everything” in the Church: “our customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures”(EG 27).  The team would serve to advise the parish priest on many aspects of parish life.

Among the planning issues we hope at address over time, we'll need to focus on 4 areas:

  • (1) Prayer: How and when to pray for the new evangelisation?
  • (2) The churchgoers: How to inflame the faith of those already attending Sunday Mass?
  • (3) The unchurched and de-churched: How to contact, reach out to, invite, and welcome them?
  • (4) Teaching: How to offer opportunities for people to meet Jesus and to learn about Him and about what the Catholic Faith offers?

“When we hear the word of God, listen to the word of God and have it in our heart, that word grows. And do you know how it grows? The word of Christ in us grows when we proclaim it, when we give it to the others.” (Pope Francis)