Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte: meditations, reflection questions and group theme sessionsWednesday, September 06 2006
The Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte is available to groups for study, reflection and planning. This letter has great value for those who love the Church and who exercise some responsibility in its pastoral ministry or service. It is filled with enthusiasm, challenge, and pastoral guidance. It can be the catalyst for a fruitful reflection by a parish or diocese on its pastoral ministry. It can enrich any pastoral planning efforts in the Church.
This resource has a dual purpose.
1. It is intended as a means of adult catechesis on the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, and
2. It is intended as a resource for pastoral planning for Parish Pastoral Councils based upon the same document.
Variety of models for different contexts
Personal reflection: The Meditations and Excerpts and Reflection Questions are well suited for personal study and reflection. They can be used for the on-going formation of council members, and to help deepen their understanding of and appreciation for the Pastoral Letter.
Council discussion: Significant passages of the letter have been selected to help parish pastoral councils evaluate their activities, and to engage in effective pastoral planning. A parish council may choose to work through the seven Group Theme Sessions. These sessions can be adapted to a variety of situations. Be creative:
- They can be used as seven evening sessions over the course of the year.
- The sessions can be grouped by theme, and clustered around an entire day. For example, for reflection on the parish’s sacramental ministry, themes 3 and 5 might be of special interest. For the parish’s outreach ministry, see themes 6 and 7. A contemplative day might be built around theme 2 on holiness and prayer, with times for personal reflection using the Meditations.
- A weekend retreat can be designed using various elements, including prayer, a group theme session, time for personal reflection and communal liturgy.
If you want to use part of each council meeting to study the Letter, you might select portions of the Excerpts and Reflection Questions. The important thing is to use the materials in ways that will fit the needs of your parish council.
Parish reflection: The parish in general, or particular parish committees and organizations, might be invited to read through some of the Excerpts and Reflection Questions, and to share their insights with the parish council. Choose excerpts that are especially poignant for the participants.
Pastoral planning: The study and reflection materials that are presented here have been developed with the intention that those who use them will be able to analyze their current situation and needs in light of Novo Millennio Ineunte, and will be assisted in developing a pastoral plan for their parish as we move into this new millennium. The Group Theme Sessions in particular will help parish groups plan effectively.