Congratulations to Mrs. Hélène Christen, Associate to the Daughters of Jesus in Three-Rivers (Canada), who has become a committed member of the Pastoral Trio in the parish of St-Mathieu-du-Parc (Province of Quebec). But, what is a pastoral trio?
The parishes of the Diocese of Three-Rivers have become too numerous for the number of its clergy and for its different local resources. A parish, which in the past, was defined by a resident priest, a territory, a church building, must now undergo change and become more “a community of life”. Different models have been studied and solutions have allowed lay people to contribute, as baptized members to the life of the parish.
How does one “build parish” differently?
Since 2008, a few parishes in the Diocese no longer have priests in charge. The pastoral responsibility is now placed in the hands of three lay persons mandated by the bishop and guided by a priest. As much as possible, the sacraments continue to be presided over by priests. The members of the trio have the parish as their mission, that is, to live and announce the gospel of Jesus-Christ. The Christian community is also invited to collaborate with the members of the pastoral trio, in order to support them and participate in the mission of building a living and missionary parish.
For me, Hélène Christen, what does this commitment mean?
“Being an Associate is a commitment. Being part of the pastoral Trio is also a commitment.
For a long time, I have been active in the church: serving at the altar, reading the Word of God, Parish Pastoral council, Parish Pastoral Team and member of the pastoral Trio.
The primary motive for my commitment as a member of the pastoral Trio was the desire to preserve our Christian community at Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc, to continue to pray, to celebrate together. Without this commitment our church would be closed.
As the Church is made up of all the parishoners, each member is necessary for the others. With the parable of the talents, Jesus invites us to a commitment. Every one is called to put to the service of others, their gifts received from God. The most useful services are not necessarily the most impressionable ones. Each person can do his or her part, however small in itself. For me, it is my way of helping my community to the best of my capacity”.
Symbolical acts come to support the commitment of the pastoral Trio
By this candle, carry the Light, sign of the life of the resurrected Christ, in the parish that you are responsible to guide, in order that everyone will be illuminated by the Presence of God.
By this book of the Word, listen to the calls of the Gospel and nourish your life of faith. We need you to break the bread of the Word, and may the message of the Scriptures guide your ministry among us.
By this cross, receive the sign of the Love of God for us and the sign of our faith. We need you to bear witness of hope, especially toward people who are suffering and who are in affliction.
Do we not believe that Jesus precedes us in Galilee (Mt 28,7)?
Jesus is before us; he awaits us. Let us go ahead!
S. Colette Gélinas, f.j.