Diocesan Handout for Meetings
Click on link to download – Sharing the Lord’s Mission handout
Message from Monsignor Brendan Byrne
Last June, I promised that we would hold a series of meetings around the diocese to help us all to reflect on the grouping of parishes. You will find a listing of the dates and venues of our 13 meetings on the back page [see below]. All are very welcome. This handout is intended to help inform those discussions.
Over the last the last ten years or so, we have begun to group parishes together under one Parish Priest. This happened because priests’ numbers have fallen. These new groupings came about when and where vacancies appeared. We all have to come to terms with the fact that the age profile of our priests in K&L is very top-heavy and, until this change, more vacancies will appear.
During 2009, under Bishop Moriarty’s stewardship, our priests looked at a different approach to grouping parishes that goes 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. This would involve a plan for sharing all ministries, services and resources (including sharing priests) between neighbouring parishes. It was agreed to share these ideas formally with the whole diocese, including a map that begins to show how this approach could be applied across the diocese.
In these changing times, we need to hold on to our sense of mission. Church structures and practices stand or fall on how well they help spread the Gospel and help people to connect with faith and Church. We also need to hold on to the truth that it is a shared mission. While the movement towards greater lay involvement has been slow, there has been steady progress. We need to keep moving forward. We are a pilgrim people always called to ‘go forth in peace to love and serve the Lord’.
As we are awaiting the appointment of our new Bishop, this series of meetings is not about taking decisions. These meetings are intended 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. The ideas that come from these discussions will be published in October.
As always, we pray that the Lord might guide our steps. We also pray for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for those tasked with choosing our new Bishop. Finally we pray that we will continue to welcome and encourage all who come forward to serve the Church.
All are Welcome
Check with local parish for exact time of these evening meetings.
Mon 13th Sept, Aras Bhride, Kildare –
Thurs 16th Sept, Clane Parish Centre –
Clane/ Kilcock/Prosperous/ Staplestown & Cooleragh
Mon 20th Sept, Edenderry Parish Centre –
Thurs 23rd Sept, Carlow College –
Arles/ Askea/Bennekerry/Cathedral/ Doonane/Graiguecullen/Tinryland
Mon 27th Sept, Mountmellick Parish Hall –
Mon 27th Sept, Ballycane Church, Naas –
Kill/Naas/Sallins/Two Mile House
Tue 28th Sept, Baltinglass Parish Centre –
Tue 28th Sept, Tullow Parish Centre –
Tue 28th Sept, Leighlin Parish Centre –
Borris/Graiguenamanagh/ Leighlin/Muinebheag/Myshall/ Paulstown/St. Mullins
Wed 29th Sept, Timahoe Hall –
Thurs 30th Sept, Mount St. Anne’s –
Wed 6th Oct, Portlaoise Parish Centre –
Wed 6th Oct, Newbridge Parish Centre –
Questions, Feedback, Diocesan Report
Following two short inputs that give the background to the diocesan handout, most of the meeting will be given over to discussion and feedback.
What concerns have you about pastoral areas/grouping parishes?
What is your response to the ‘pastoral areas’ map?
What benefits could you see from belonging to a Pastoral Area?
How do you see the relationship between falling numbers of priests and the movement towards greater lay involvement?
A report will be published on the feedback from these meetings and any submissions received by 22nd October.
Submissions to Bishop’s House, Carlow. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org