Puzzle Website Banner
Partnered Parish
In 2016 Our Lady of the Pines became a partnered parish with SS Peter & Paul’s Parish in Doncaster East.
So, what is a Partnered Parish?
This is where two or more parishes share a Parish Priest and are connected in some areas of administration and in many pastoral areas, while at the same time remaining canonically and financially independent.  At Our Lady of the Pines, as well as sharing a Parish Priest, we also share a Parish Secretary and a Pastoral Worker with Ss Peter and Paul’s.
A parish partnership is not the same as a parish merger (uniting two or more parishes into a single parish).  It is a new model which is becoming common practice to make use of the limited number of priests and to allow smaller parishes to work more efficiently.
In a parish partnership, the two parishes still retain their own identities and the parish finances are kept distinct.  Assets and debts remain with each parish.  Each has its own collection envelopes and budget.  Each also keeps its own Pastoral Council and Finance Committee, however these meet regularly throughout the year to discuss issues of common interest.
What are the benefits of Partnered Parishes?
Some benefits include: • The sharing of skills, talents and human resources. • The potential for larger events and long-term collaborative activities. • The development of viable and sustainable communities and stronger support networks. • Efficiency savings in terms of building maintenance, purchasing, administration, etc.
Most importantly, the development of these partnerships is a key aspect of helping to ensure that we are all disciples of Jesus in viable and flourishing communities into the future.
What are the negatives of Partnered Parishes?
The main negative is the “fear of change”.  It is a natural human tendency to want to stay with what is familiar and comfortable. As followers of Christ, however, we sometimes have to go beyond our comfort zone for our own good and the good of the wider Church. Parish partnerships require that we be open to doing things differently. Naturally there will be some trials and some errors.  These are normal.  The real danger is a negativity that is always looking for problems rather than nurturing a positive openness to new possibilities.
“Do not be afraid… put out into the deep
and let down your nets for a catch!”  
                                                                    Luke 5:4
So, to sum it up, by introducing partnered parishes, the diocese has been able to address the issue of priest shortages, while at the same time allow parishes to retain their parish priest and keep their own unique identity, with the added benefit of working together with a neighbouring parish for the good of both communities.
The website for our partnered parish is www.sspp.org.au