Peace and well-being!
The general theme of our Parish Bulletin (PB) for this month is COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP. Our simple operational definition of leadership is: it’s a process by which an individual influences others in ways that help attain organizational goals. It involves the practice of decision-making, as well as communicating with, motivating, selecting and developing people. The word “collective” indicates cooperation, collaboration, inclusion, partnership, and participation. This understanding of leadership therefore promotes teamwork through active listening and “participatory” process. Another way to put it – this model of leadership illustrates that the process is as important as the product.
In the theological and pastoral point of view, collective leadership is essentially drawn from our identity as baptized members of our Catholic Christian community, endowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to cooperate and participate in God’s mission through humble and joyful service to people. Personal agenda and interest are contrary to the spirit of service and ministry to say the least. Authentic service frees one from seeking recognition or desiring any position – obedience to God’s will is always a process of kenosis (self-emptying or denying oneself). In the words of St. John the Baptist, “He must increase; I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30).
Taking the points mentioned above, our parish ministerial-stewardship structure attempts to bring these principles into our leadership practices as entrusted to collaborate in the pastoral care of the Church whose function is that of healing, guiding, sustaining and reconciling. We therefore have another way of understanding structure – that while it shows us the position of authority, areas of coordination and concerns, we take structure in this context to mean PRIORITY (focus), which is our LIFE-in-MINISTRY. Thus, every single entity in the Parish finds its reason of existence in service of the “other” and on behalf of the Church.
That being said, we promote the spirituality of stewardship in our leadership functions to indicate that we abide by the principles of non-ownership, servanthood, gratitude, trust and love. Our ministerial services in the Parish are both an oasis and locus for our ongoing conversion to become a better person and credible witness of the Gospel. Ministry is an opportunity to be of service, rather than a privilege to holding position. It is God Who qualifies us, than us having the qualifications. It is a gift by God to us individually, yet affirmed collectively through the community of the faithful.
The quality of our relationship as ministers and stewards is the best way to share the joy of the Gospel and gift to our own faith-community as well.
Fr. Reu Jose C. Galoy, OFM