A twinning relationship (or sister parish) is a relationship between two Catholic Parishes in which time, talent, and treasures are mutually shared, thus fulfilling the desire to be connected to each other and with God. 

The key to twinning is relationship: this is analogous to a marriage between man and wife, the relationship occurring on multiple levels. In marriage there is a contract; it is a spiritual relationship (the sacrament of marriage) and it is based on mutual trust, love, commitment and need.

Just as there is a marriage contract, twinning partners will also have a contract as well. Spiritually, there should be mutual activities involving prayer, liturgy, and intercessions at Mass. The relationship will involve brothers and sisters of a different culture, offering the parish to expand its horizons in exposure to a different culture, which also can benefit the school as well.

The relationship is based on mutual respect, not charity. Twinning is more than just charitable giving, although that can be part of the relationship. Both partners honor the dignity of each other in the eyes of God, and mutual dialogue emphasizing mutual listening is critical to the success of any twinning relationship! 

There is mutual caring based on love through the action of the Holy Spirit. I attended a workshop sponsored by the Archdiocese on twinning and witnessed the interaction between a local parish and a parish from Ghana. The mutual love was overwhelming! 

Mutual resources will be shared in the form of time, talent, and treasure. In our fast paced lives, one of our most precious resources is time, something that will need to be shared in this endeavor. All of us have different talents that we bring to the table: some are organizers, others mechanically inclined, but all have something to offer this relationship. Our treasures will be our most important resource to give: the treasure of giving of ourselves as one unique creature of God to another. 

In summary, the key to a successful twinning relationship with another Catholic parish is developing a relationship of mutual caring and respect.

The article in the next Voice will try to answer, “Why should our parish enter into a twinning relationship with another Catholic parish?”Prayerfully submitted, Marc Alexande









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