Parish Consultation – Dromtariffe Parish Hall, February 28th, 8pm.
Most people are aware by now of a serious shortage of ministering priests. Kerry Diocese, like most other dioceses is suffering a death of priests, and many parishes are without a resident priest. Sadly, this number is likely to increase. The Bishops of Ireland have therefore, initiated a consultative process with both the clergy and the laity, in the hope of formulating ideas and means of enhancing the role of the church into the future. Therefore, as in his recent pastoral, Bishop of Kerry, Ray Browne issued the following:
“I see the life of the 110 local church-communities as a valuable and valued resource for people now and into the future. In the light of fewer clergy, we need to explore how each local church-community can thrive with local leadership acting co-responsibly with the priests ministering to the parishes of the pastoral areas. A church can still be the centre point for community life, even if there is no weekend Mass. Think of your local church community in four ways; a social/friendship community, a caring compassionate community, a praying, worshipping and sacramental community and a community whose mission is to nourish and develop its faith, and hand it on the next generation”.
“Our first step in the process is consulting you, the people of the Parishes. In February, there will be a gathering in each parish. The invitation is open to all; what do you see as the strengths and weaknesses locally, and what are your thoughts on what might be done? In parallel with this, there will be a consultation for the clergy. Our hope is that parishioners and deacons will take a structured leadership role in their pastoral areas, working in a co-responsible way with the priests of the pastoral area as well as priests from abroad. This will allow priests to work across pastoral areas in a more sustainable manner. We will keep people informed as the process progresses”.
A number of parishioners have been trained to facilitate our parish meeting which will take place in Dromtariffe Parish Hall on February 28th at 8pm.
Everybody is invited and welcome to attend, and we would particularly encourage those who are involved in any ministry or parish committee, to make a special effort to be present.
Sometimes, people shy away from such meetings because the worry about ‘getting a job’. No need to worry in this case, all we need is your opinions and suggestions.
The meeting will consider the following:
- Without the presence of a priest to lead and co-ordinate, what aspects of parish life could we, the laity, take responsibility for and organise ourselves?
- Where do we see scope for co-operation with neighbouring parishes in our pastoral area?
- Given what Bishop Ray has said about reducing numbers and increasing
- age, what do you want to say to priests?