Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
November 23, 2009
Parishes gather to listen, watch and learn from each other
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - About a year ago, people from parishes throughout the Edmonton Archdiocese had a desire to discuss how the liturgy is being celebrated as well as liturgical ministries themselves.
The consensus was that the best way to accomplish this goal was to hold conferences from time to time, and discuss ways in which the rites, ceremonies, prayers and sacraments of the Church are being celebrated.
"We brought in Bishop Gerald Wiesner to do the preamble about what liturgy is all about," said Stephen Dufresne, an organizer of the liturgy conference, held Nov. 13-14 at St. Theresa's Church, 7508-29 Ave.
Wiesner is an Oblate who has served the Prince George Diocese since 1993. The conference, Participating in the Eucharistic Banquet: There is Nothing More Beautiful! featured four keynote sessions with Wiesner on such topics as turning worship into witness, Liturgy of the Word, full and active participation, and the Eucharist.
Committed to adult faith formation, Wiesner is known for establishing a lay formation program in Prince George.
"He's a good fit. He has a good reputation as a liturgist, and he's well spoken in the area of liturgy, so that's why we decided to bring him in and lay the groundwork," said Dufresne, who is both the business coordinator and ministry coordinator at St. Theresa's.
Following Wiesner's morning sessions, on Saturday afternoon participants divided into workshops on proclaimers/commentators, musicians, acolytes/extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion/servers, hospitality, and art and entertainment/sacristans.
Participants could choose any two of the five workshops. Volunteers shared their time and talents to facilitate these workshops.
Another purpose of the two-day conference was to break free of the self-satisfaction that is sometimes seen in parishes and seek ways to improve.
SHAKE THE COBWEBS
"Sometimes you do something so often that it becomes familiar and comfortable, and you just slip into a little bit of a routine.
"There's a little complacency. Sometimes that complacency becomes the order of the day. Everything we do can be improved," said Dufresne.
With about 150 people at the workshop and with representation from several parishes, Dufresne said that another goal was to learn from each other and share ideas.
"I think the plan is to have it (the conference) every second year, so the momentum will build with other parishes."
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.