Towards the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly 2023 and beyond

The coreteam members of the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Team (PMPT) met at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre on March 8 for a half-day meeting.

Mar 24, 2023

The coreteam members of the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Team (PMPT) met at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre on March 8 for a half-day meeting. The team is formed by the bishops and a small number of representatives from the three dioceses in Peninsular Malaysia.

The chairperson, Msgr Jude Miranda, pic, started the meeting by sharing his insights on a reflection by Pope Francis on the Synodal Journey. Msgr. Jude spoke about the need for a Spirituality of Synodality to be cultivated at all levels in the Church. Then, he traced the journey of the Church in Peninsular Malaysia from the time of the Aggiornamento (1976), through the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Conventions (1986, 1996, 2006, 2016), and linked it to the synodal process which will lead up to the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly (2023), Regional Pastoral Assembly (2024) and Malaysian Pastoral Convention (2026).

Msgr Jude pointed out that he was present at the Asian Continental Assembly for the Synod held in Bangkok from Feb 24 to 26. Taking into consideration the unique and diverse realities and challenges in Asia, the following priorities were highlighted: formation, inclusivity, accountability, prayer and worship, the environment and the call to become missionary disciples.

With regards to the synodal report of the Malaysian Church, the following were key priorities: formation, reform of institutions, the need to hear the “cry of the earth” and the “cry of the poor”, inculturation and dialogue, and the call to map new paths. The national report also points out that the three main issues to be addressed in the Church are: leadership, evangelisation and mission.

The major part of the meeting was taken up by discussions on the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly which will be held later this year. In this regard, two questions were put forward to the members: “How can we move forward towards the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly?” and “What would be the priorities of the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly?” The representatives were placed into groups to discuss these questions using the “Spiritual Conversation” method. Later, the fruits of the “Spiritual Conversation” of each group were shared with the larger group.

In response, some members, including the bishops, voiced their views as to how best to move towards the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly (see page 4 for the views of the bishops).

The members then discussed the dates for the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly. A number of dates in August 2023 were put forward which the bishops will decide on when the Assembly will be held in their respective dioceses. There were also general reports by representatives from the three dioceses on the initiatives taken for the family. Other matters were discussed too. Later, Bishop Bernard and Msgr Jude shared their experiences at the Asian Continental Assembly for the Synod. Msgr Jude concluded the meeting by thanking the bishops and other diocesan representatives for their presence and participation. — By PMPT Secretary

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