See dates for a further round of meetings across the diocese in the coming weeks about grouping of parishes. These meetings follow on from the gatherings last year attended by more than 1,000 people.

Message from Monsignor Brendan Byrne

Diocesan Administator

Please see below dates for a round of meetings across the diocese in the coming weeks about the grouping of parishes. These meetings follow on from the gatherings that took place last September/October, which were attended by more than 1,000 people.

At those meetings, people had an opportunity to reflect on how we have grouped parishes to date  – in deaneries and sometimes also in clusters.  Clusters (where two or more parishes were grouped together under one Parish Priest) came about over the last ten years or so when and where vacancies appeared.   At present, there are 8 clusters in our diocese involving 17 parishes (out of our total of 56 parishes).

The meetings then went on to consider a different approach to grouping parishes that would go beyond just the numbers of priests and a ‘when and where’ response. This different approach would involve grouping all parishes in order to support local faith communities fulfil the mission of the Church – to live and proclaim the Good News. A draft map of possible groupings was circulated for discussion.

Report back

The upcoming round of meetings will report back on what emerged from our discussions at the gatherings last year – including a re-drafted map of possible ‘Pastoral Areas’. There will also be time to look again at how parishes could work together in their suggested ‘Pastoral Area’.

I would like to acknowledge the good work of convenors, facilitators and our planning group in getting us this far. The discussion about the grouping of parishes that took place initially among priests in 2009 has now blossomed into a properly open and inclusive discussion.

As I stated in my message in the handout for last year’s gatherings, this was our goal –

‘to ensure that we are sharing the same questions, that we are looking at the same figures and maps as we prepare for the next stage of our pilgrim journey as a diocese’.

I would like to thank all those who attended the meetings and have helped move this process forward.  Again we need to be clear that we are not making any final decisions at this stage.  We are still awaiting the appointment of a new Bishop and any formal change to our existing system will not happen until he takes office.

In all our planning, we must not lose sight of the ‘mission’ that we are trying to serve and share. The Good News must define and shape all our work. What we are seeking is the best way of working together to proclaim the Good News in our time and place. At its heart, we know that this is a shared mission among all the people of God.

Open Meetings March – April 2011

All are Welcome

Meetings at 8p.m. unless otherwise indicated locally.

March

21st Monday – Áras Bhríde, Kildare Town

Kildare, Monasterevin, Suncroft, Rathangan, Curragh

24th Thursday  – Tullow Parish Centre

Tullow, Ballon, Clonmore, Clonegal

24th Thursday – Parish Centre, Edenderry

Edenderry, Rhode, Daingean, Balyna, Carbury

29th Tuesday – Baltinglass Parish Centre

Baltinglass, Rathvilly, Hacketstown

29th Tuesday – Mountmellick Parish Hall

Mountmellick , Killeigh, Clonaslee, Rosenallis

29th Tuesday – Portlaoise Parish Centre

Portlaoise, Mountrath, Ballyfin

31st Thursday – Scoil Mhuire, Abbeyleix

Abbeyleix, Ballinakill, Raheen

April

4th Monday – Carlow College

Carlow, Askea, Bennekerry, Graiguecullen, Tinryland

6th Wednesday – Parish Centre, Newbridge

Newbridge, Caragh, Allen

6th Wednesday – Mt. St. Anne’s

Portarlington, Emo, Clonbullogue

6th Wednesday – Goresbridge Parish Centre

Muinebeag, Leighlin, Myshall, Borris, Paulstown, Graiguenamanagh, St Mullins

7th Thursday – Arles Hall

Arles, Stradbally, Ballyadams, Doonane

8th Friday – Clane Parish Centre

Clane, Kilcock, Staplestown & Cooleragh, Prosperous