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Highlights of the 2011 Annual General Meeting

posted Apr 5, 2011, 2:40 AM by Nick Ballesteros
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Filipino Chaplaincy was held on 15 January 2011 at 10:30 a.m.  The highlights of the meeting include the barangay coordinators’ report, the outgoing chair’s report, the Finance Council report and the presentation of the FCPC General Plan for 2011 by the new council chair. 

Barangay Coordinators’ Report 
The Barangay coordinators reported varied activities of the Filipinos in the chaplaincy covering the areas of liturgy/worship, education/formation, and outreach.   The Catholic Pinoys are very visible in the different parishes in Wellington.  They not only attend the masses regularly but also serve the parish in various capacities – helping maintain cleanliness of the church interiors, serving as scripture readers and prayer leaders, altar serving, family offering and singing in the choir during masses. Many of the barangays organize the Block Rosary which not only strengthens the faith of Filipino catholics individually, but also enhances community spirituality.  This was viewed by some as entry point to the formation of basic ecclesial communities, which has been one of the major directions of Philippine dioceses.  In addition, Filipinos actively attend novena masses and organize visita iglesia during the holy week. 

Youth and adult formation activities such as marriage encounter seminars, seminar for new communicants, bible sharing, and retreats were also organized in some of the barangays.  Also, realizing the need to raise kids to become responsible and God fearing adults, a group of Filipino couples in Tawa and Johnsonville underwent a series of training-workshop called, “Growing Kids God’s Way” which teaches them how to handle and raise kids based on biblical truths. This activity was initiated by the Filipino Chaplaincy through Archie and Nenette Araza, the former Education/Formation chair, and is targeted to serve as many families as possible. 

Many of the community members are also members of catholic organizations such as the Couples for Christ and its social ministries, the Lamb of God, Spring of Life Fellowship etc.  While many of their activities like evangelization, prayer meeting and bible study, youth formation and community services are transparochial they do find time to serve their parish base.  
As migrants in New Zealand, the Filipinos have to cope with various concerns like separation from their family, culture shock, anxiety over immigration status and employment. Thus, Filipinos in some barangays bonded together to form a support group, albeit loose, and regularly  meet  together  to  celebrate  birthdays   and other special occasions, or simply to have fun and relaxation.  In Barangay St. Francis of Tawa and neighboring  areas,  the  Social  Justice  committee was created  among  other  committees,  the  main function of which  is to welcome Filipino newcomers and help them adjust to their new environment.  

Outgoing Chair’s Report 
Rufie Guinto, the outgoing council chair reported that there has been a lot of changes and developments in the chaplaincy.  He mentioned the overhaul of leadership due to resignation of some of the council officers.  Among the major accomplishments of the council are:   
  1. drafting of the organization by-laws which is now ready for ratification;
  2. initiating the development of a chaplaincy website which would hopefully facilitate exchange of information, update everyone on what is happening in the chaplaincy, provide a venue for discussing relevant topics, and connect the chaplaincy with the rest of the world.
  3. initiation of activities like devotion to Mama Mary and block rosary; 
  4. creation of mini-chaplaincy within the barangay with committees to mirror those of the whole chaplaincy.
On the planning side, Rufie emphasized the need for the council to have a strong presence in the different barangays; for the barangays to come up with an annual plan of activities; and to closely link budget planning and efforts to raise funds.  

Finance Council Report 
Nora McBride, one of the outgoing Finance Council Administrators reported that for 2009, the chaplaincy had a total income of $21,464 and expenditures of $19,243.76, or a surplus of $2,220.48.  However, in 2010, a deficit of $6,368.29 was incurred as total income was only $19,855.18 compared to expenditures of $26,223.47.  In addition, Nora reported that at year’s end, the chaplaincy has a total assets of $35,000.63, total current liabilities of $2,987.02, funds reserve of $28,242.77, chaplaincy reserve of $35,334.63, and total equity of $30,321.61.

FCPC Plan for 2011
Mel Bernardo, the new pastoral council chair presented the 2011 FCPC Annual Plan which covers the proposed activities of the pastoral, youth and finance councils as well as the committees on liturgy/worship, education/formation and outreach.