Groups in the Parish
A parish is a family, a living cell of the one family of God. No two parishes are the same, any more than two ordinary families. Each has its own special challenges, its own problems, needs and blessings.
A faith community
In any parish, the priest’s ministry is to build a community of faith, of truly faith-filled people. It is there that they encounter the living Jesus in the Scriptures, in the Sacraments, in the whole prayer-life of the community, and in their fellow parishioners. Parish unity is not meant to be just a cosy fellowship: it is to be a communion of faith and witness. The parish is supposed to be a servant community, a community for others. In other words, it is meant to be a small-scale version of all that the Church is called to be.
We have to discover the part God has given us to play in his work, and the gifts he has bestowed on us. It involves being responsible members of the Church community, and creating a sense of participation and interdependence. Small groups of one kind or another are increasingly important. These are not alternatives to parish life, but help to transform the parish itself into a real community.