The First 5s gathering was held at Divine Word residence, Riverside from 9-13 of September. There were a total of 18 members from the three provinces. The program was facilitated by Jon Kirby. He introduced them to inter-cultural living in the light of our community and parish life. He also spoke to them on conflict management in the light of inter-culturalism.
Dr. Matthew Petrusek, PhD, associate professor of Theology at Loyola Mary Mount University, Los Angeles presented on the practical aspects of pastoral theology. In his presentation he shared about the emergence of Pastoral Theology as a distinctive discipline. He then went on to explain three models of pastoral theology; scholastic deductive model, experiential liberative model and hybrid circular model. All the three models were looked at from the principle of see-judge-act. During the interaction and discussion after the presentation he was able to answer many practical questions relating to pastoral life and ministry. There was also a panel consisting of a parish staff, lay person and a SVD associate from SVD parish to share their observations and
experiences working and being at an SVD parish. The discussion after their sharing was very interesting as they were able to share some of their expectations, likes and dislikes.
It was a time for the members to share each other about their experiences in pastoral and other ministry. This helps them to find ways and means to deal with situations on living and working together. It was also a time to share their difficulties in working together with another confrere. The program concluded with a trip to Christ Cathedral of Orange Diocese and visiting the Polish Center, Yorba Linda. Everyone enjoyed hospitality and the Polish style dinner to conclude the gathering. The next gathering will be in two years in Chicago.