Sharing the load
Patsy Buttle has become the lay leader of Scared Heart parish in Kaikoura after Catholic Archbishop John Dew announced big changes for the parish at the beginning of the month.
Father Eric Urlich will remain living in the presbytery and will celebrate the sacraments and Buttle will run the parish.
To become a lay pastoral leader, Buttle had to complete and graduate with a Diploma in Lay Pastoral Ministry at Wellington Catholic Institute and an NZQA qualification diploma, at the same time as completing a four-year formation in a programme called Launch Out.
Launch Out was set up with the express purpose of enabling a fully qualified lay person to run a parish where there is an ageing or no resident priest, working in collaboration with the regional area priests.
‘‘Our regional area is Blenheim and Picton. Here in Kaikoura we have Father Eric here to advise and guide and he is also in the role of moderator,’’ Buttle said.
‘‘Because many of our parish priests are getting older the idea is for someone else to take over the day to day running of the parish.’’
While she has been in Kaikoura since 2008, she has spent the past 18 months studying in Christchurch where she and her husband were also preparing their house for sale.
She is now permanently back in Kaikoura and looking forward to working with the parish in her new ministry.
Lay leader: Patsy Buttle has taken on new duties at the Sacred Heart