PPC meets with Msgr. Dennis Odiver with a Talk on the Parish System

Last February 15, our new parish priest, Msgr. Dennis Odiver met with the Parish Pastoral Council members with a discussion on “Change” and “Viewing the Parish as a System”.

A cordial dinner was first served at the Jubilee Hall, prepared for by Mrs. Corie Gomez. Msgr. Dennis thanked everyone for the warm welcome the group  extended during the last PPC meeting with Msgr Sunga, where he was also present. He once again thanked the PPC for heeding to his call for the first official meeting with him.  Fr. Allan Dichoso and Fr Jeffrey Jamias were also present for the said meeting.

After dinner we all went down to the board room, where the presentation on “Viewing the Parish as a System” awaits the PPC members.
There were 10 principles in the system that were discussed.



  1. Whole is more than the parts. He discussed that the church being one system exists, has a life of its own and anyone who works in the system  should fit in the way things are done in the system. Not in the way a person calls for but what the systems calls for.
  2. Changing Parts Changes Whole.  In a system where people work for the common good, if say one person especially a leader decided to take some rest and slow down in the delivery of service, its members will eventually get affected and will also slow down and take time following the same. The response to such is simply start changing with oneself and changing ones perceptions will eventually change the whole system.
  3. Changes Take Time. For any change to take effect in the whole system takes time. There will be parts that can easily adopt and there will be other parts that will take longer to adopt. So long as the energy for change is present , eventually the whole system will get affected.
  4. Each Part Reflects Whole.  The parish system itself dictates how the sub parts operate. If the parish has a reputation for friendliness, every group or organization in the parish reflects this friendliness. The way people dedicate their time for work and how decisions are executed by the members, these are reflected and imitated by the whole.
  5. Good Systems have Interdependent Parts. In a church system each ministry , organization or sub parish must work hand in hand, each person must be able to work with another as a whole to put the system to good use. One having its own identity, but each correlating in the system.
  6. Tension Between Whole and Parts.  Tension between members and the whole with regards to goals and directions is but healthy.  There will always be indifference between ideas and implementation, and hearing them individually and taking them into consideration allows each one to be more confident to voice out their views thereby keeping balance in the system.
  7. Manage Process.  It is better to manage the process than the people in the system.  Don’t concentrate on the personality when it comes to executing rules, concentrate on the system that all may abide.
  8. Attend to the Underlying Culture. The system will be most effective if traditions,  assumptions, and unspoken values are taken into consideration and being applied to the system. The culture becomes a common goal and following the system will just flow freely.
  9. Keeping Boundaries Open.  For say a ministry to grow, it should not limit its members to a certain degree, instead it should open up and discover new possibilities, thereby making the group more dynamic and progressive.
  10. And last,
  11. Triangles can dominate.  In a system with conflict there could be the oppressor, the victim and the rescuer or mediator. It is good to know who is who in the conflict. And in such a case that a conflict can’t be settled, let all the ones involved step out of the triangle and discuss the matters objectively. Not concentrating again on the personality but on how to move on in a positive manner.

Msgr. Dennis gave everyone a copy of the parish system to further study and evaluate, he further added another item that all will have to evaluate, and that is the  proposed changes in the mass schedule.  After some short discussion the group decided on implementing the new schedule before departing for the night.

Sunday Mass Schedule Effective March 2011

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15n.n - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English

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