Press Release Thursday 17th September
Parish Council Pioneers reflect on a decade of participation
Over 10 years ago, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin introduced the concept of lay people working in partnership with clergy in running parishes in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
As part of a wide ranging review of that initiative, Archbishop Martin will this evening meet many of the men and women who answered the first call to serve on a Parish Pastoral Council.
Today, each of the 199 parishes in Dublin has a Parish Pastoral Council, through which priests and people pray and work together as partners, responsible for furthering the Mission of the Church in their own local parish. When he asked first called on people to take part in 2004, Archbishop Martin envisaged the Councils as “fruitful instruments for a renewal of evangelisation, mission and service in parish communities.”
Over the past number of months a detailed review of how the Councils have been received in the Archdiocese was carried out by the Office for Evangelisation and Ecumenism. Hundreds of people engaged in a facilitated conversation to help to assess the progress of the Councils since 2004.
Then the main findings of these Reviews have been collated and summarised in booklet form. Participants were asked to evaluate and advise on a number of areas including faith development, connecting with young people, working within parish groupings and recruitment of new Council members. In a clear assessment of the evolution of Parish Pastoral Councils, the participants were candid in their assessment of what worked well and what needed improvement for the future.
Tonight (Thursday 17th) the chairpersons, secretaries and priests of participating parish pastoral councils have been invited to gather at St Paul’s in Arran Quay at 7:30pm for a celebration of this project. Some of the key findings of the research will be presented and those gathered will be encouraged to send these back to their PPCs and to use it for their ongoing formation over the coming months.
During the autumn and spring, there will be various initiatives in different parts of the diocese to help Parish Pastoral Councils to continue making progress in some of the challenging areas of PPC work highlighted in the Review.