Fr Brian Lucas writes …
“The respective roles of laity and clergy need to be respected but all parish life is not necessarily dependent upon clerical leadership or approbation. The laity have a natural right to form associations.
Parishioners themselves need to understand that they have a role and a responsibility to participate in the Church’s mission and that it is not a case of being passive and allowing all activity to be directed by the clergy or Church professionals.”
Fr Lucas encourages the formation of small groups, in models such as the Passionist Family Group Movement, to develop internal support networks. A parish with a number of committed small groups, based on friendship, may call on one another for support and assistance. Such groups are well placed to provide the foundation for evangelisation in the wider society.