A first-time ever convocation that will give persons serving on parish pastoral councils and their pastors the opportunity to come together to pray, network and learn ways to enhance or revitalize their ministry is planned for Sept. 30 in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold.
The 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. convocation, which was scheduled to coincide with the “Together – Gathering of the People of God” Ecumenical Prayer Vigil being held in Rome on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, will begin with keynoter Dominican Sister Donna Ciangio, chancellor in the Archdiocese of Newark, speaking on the key elements of the XVI Synod and “Building up Communion, Participation and Mission.”
The day will follow with Mass celebrated at 11 a.m. by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. During Mass, participants will pray for the intentions of the XVI Ordinary Synod of Bishops that will begin several days later.
After lunch, a series of breakout sessions will be offered. Presenters and topics include: Msgr. Edward Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, Belmar, and Kathy Brady, co-chair of the parish pastoral council at St. Rose, will lead a session for pastors only on “Straight Talk Re: Ways to Make the Most of Your PPC.” Linda Dickinson Pancila, business manager in St. Veronica Parish, Howell, will lead a session for new PPC members on “What Does it Mean to Serve on a PCC?”
Also,Denise Contino, director of the diocesan Department of Catechesis and Josue Arriola, director of the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Family Life, will present “Keys to Evangelization and Becoming a Welcoming Parish.” Gary Maccaroni, pastoral associate and director of religious education in St. Ann Parish, Lawrenceville, will speak on “Participation, and Co-Responsibility for Mission.” Milissa Else, who works for the chancellor in the Newark Archdiocese and is coordinator for parish strategies and small group ministry, will present “Practicing Listening and Group Prayerful Discernment.”
“We will pray in solidarity with those gathered in Rome and other places in the world and ask the Holy Spirit to inspire and guide the Synod participants,” noted Terry Ginther, diocesan chancellor and executive director of the Office of Pastoral Life and Mission, which is hosting the convocation.
To register, visit dioceseoftrenton.org/convocation-9-30-23. For questions, call 609-403-7175. St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral is located at 61 Georgia Rd., Freehold.