Parish Mission in Bootle
It was fitting that the Faith Formation Team from the Monterey, California, should start their Bootle Mission on the Feast of the Epiphany. Like the Wise Men, our visitors brought gifts to share with our local community here.
Roy Shelley SDB is well known to us having given our Provincial Retreat some years ago. He brought with him Tish, Sheliah and Patrick who work in the Faith Formation Department of the Diocese of Monterey. They helped us to look at the Vision that needs to exist in this Salesian parish, especially given the fact that we opened our new primary school, All Saints, on 1st January 2007.
They worked with children, parents, staff and governors to help us see what possibilities our new extended school can offer us. They led us in our prayer and worship, they visited the sick and housebound, met our local press and radio and found time to join us on a parish outing to the Iron Men of Crosby to see Antony Gormley's famous sculpture park on one of our local beaches
We were blessed with their visit and the spur it has given so many of parishioners and teachers to go that extra mile for the good of the community, especially for our children and young people. They were able to point out the good practice that has gone on in this neighbourhood for many years. As Roy says,
"The overarching principles that guide the work of the Office are Evangelization and Stewardship. We are essentially a missionary Church. The principles of evangelization spur us on to learn more about our Catholic tradition and how best to celebrate it and share it in today's society. We are most effective when we work together to build up the Catholic Community. Faith education often can be limited to those moments when we are preparing for a sacramental celebration (Baptism, First Eucharist, Confirmation, or Marriage). As persons we continue to learn all through life in many ways. This Office seeks to promote a wide variety of ways for people to continue in their process of faith education. We believe that the parish is the very best place for faith development to happen. It is the place where families and individuals come together to pray and celebrate their faith. Therefore we work to support and advocate for quality faith education as close to 'home' as possible."
We wish them well in their Ministry so far away and are glad that they could share something of their life with us. As one parishioner said, "Now I know what it really means to be Catholic!"