Manly Mission
Group

The Manly Mission Group at Manly Freshwater Parish receives 5% of parish funds to distribute to missionary activities in the areas of health, education or spirituality.

Summary of Learnings

In the year 2000, Moya Fleming responded to an invitation issued to all parishioners by the Parish Priest, Father Rex Curry, to consider the gifts each individual may have to share for the good of the community (seeking to welcome the giftedness and value of each person).

Fr Rex highlighted many ministries and roles parishioners could accept one was the Director of Missions, a role to raise the awareness and parish involvement in missionary work and for the parish to have a stronger sense of mission (sharing in the mission of Christ).

 

 

As Moya has experience in missionary work. Moya volunteered to be “Director of Mission”, and with a committee, established the Manly Mission Group.

The Parish Pastoral Council agreed 5% of the parish income would be dedicated on an ongoing basis to this work. This amounts to approximately $20 000 per annum.

Important to the success of the mission program in the parish was the ongoing support of the Parish Priest, currently Fr John Hannon, and the Parish Pastoral Council.

 

The Manly Mission Group established simple but key guidelines as the basis for assessing projects.

The projects must be

  • in the area of health, education or spirituality
  • the money has to be given to someone who is known by the parish, so there is a direct connection between the parish and the co-ordinator of the project
  • the money has to be given directly to the project, not to a large organisation who would use some of the money for advertising or administration

(we are called to give generously, serving those in need)

Over the twelve years the Manly Mission Group, on behalf of the parish, has managed sixteen projects. The projects are varied, they have ranged from a Literacy Programme for street kids in Port Moresby, conducting AIDS/HIV Awareness and Prevention Courses in Kenya, funding a health centre in the Philippines, building amenities in a children’s home in Kandy Sri Lanka and paying for library facilities in the Bomana PNG Seminary.

In each case the parish funds have gone directly to the personally known project co-ordinator.

 

The careful assessment of each project is very important to the ministry. The committee are aware of the responsibility of the money allocated on behalf of the parish community. It has been important to the ministry to stay focussed on their objectives, to be in line with Catholic mission and to maintain a personal, regular connection to the Missionaries.

They also give careful consideration to the viability of the project – what sort of longevity it might have, what the future might be to determine if it is worthwhile.

While there are many needs both locally and internationally the group is committed to only spending the funds allocated, they do not hold additional appeals as they are aware of the regular donations given by the community to the many worthwhile causes i.e. Catholic Mission, Caritas, St Vincent de Paul and Charitable Works Fund.

 

The Manly Mission Group meets biannually with six members attending. At the first meeting they assess their options and select the programs for the year. Some projects run over a number of years.

In their second meeting of the year they meet to review the projects. They always leave a little space to be flexible. Between meetings Moya makes arrangements for the funds to be transferred and regularly communicates with the missionaries/coordinators.

 

 

This communication gains information about the progress of the project and gives the Mission Group a way to offer ongoing support. The parishioners are informed of the projects through the parish bulletin and often letters from the missionaries will be reprinted for the bulletin or placed on the parish notice board.

In Moya’s words “it is good for the parish that we are giving in this way, while it’s not a high profile ministry, for our church, mission is a key to our identity.”

 

 

Summary of Learnings

  • The ministry was started in response to an invitation to parishioners by the Parish Priest, Father Rex Curry, to consider the gifts each individual may have to share for the good of the community
     
  • The group receives 5% of parish funds to distribute to missionary activities
     
  • The group established a criteria and clear guidelines which determine which activities they will support

 

  • On the basis of these guidelines they meet twice per year – once to allocate the projects and once to review
     
  • The projects they support provide progress reports and updates on how the funds are being spent, this information is then provided to the parish community

Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001
news@dbb.org.au

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