The Elphin Pastoral Planning Group (E.P.P.G. herein) is a representative body of the faithful who work in close partnership with the Bishop and other diocesan bodies, e.g. Council of Priests and Diocesan Pastoral Council, to further the mission of Christ and his Church in the diocese.
Established in 1995 the E.P.P.G. has consistently fostered a more participative Church within the diocese by contributing to the development of the faith, spirituality, sense of mission, knowledge and gifts of the diocese's faithful.
Since May 2000 the diocese’s Pastoral Development Office has served as its executive arm and in this context the diocese’s Director of Pastoral Development, Dr. Justin Harkin, participates in all bi-monthly meetings.
The more specific purposes of the E.P.P.G., under the authority of the Bishop, are:
(i) to advance renewal, i.e. transformation in Christ, throughout the diocese,
(ii) to promote pastoral development and adult catechesis, particularly at parish, cluster and deanery level,
(iii) to critically assess how the diocese might best respond to the cultural situation which exists today, particularly by way of furthering a new evangelisation,
(iv) to critically assess and sanction new diocesan pastoral, renewal and catechetical initiatives,
(v) to monitor and evaluate all the undertakings and activities of the Diocesan Pastoral Development Office's staff and associated committees,
(vi) to evaluate, and where appropriate, ratify expenditure vis-à-vis the training and on-going educational needs of Pastoral Development Office personnel and volunteers,
(vii) to consider requests for advice, support or action which priests, Parish Pastoral Councils and Parish Development and Renewal groups make vis-à-vis pastoral development, renewal and adult catechesis,
(viii) to draw upon the giftedness, generosity and expertise of others in relation to on-going concerns,
(ix) to keep in tune with developments beyond the diocese,
(x) to contribute to diocesan policy in the area of pastoral care, adult catechesis, liturgy and parish development.
The E.P.P.G. has the following membership:
- Mr. John Brady
- Ms. Bernie Burke
- Sr. Breege Donohoe
- Rev. Dr. Michael Duignan
- Ms. Celia Dunleavy
- Dr. Justin Harkin (Secretary)
- Fr. Eugene McLoughlin
- Mrs Mary Mulligan
- Fr. Eamonn O’Connor
- Fr. Ciaran Whitney
Director of Pastoral Development,
Pastoral Development Office,
Tel / Fax: 071 96 34960.
During August 2008 Bishop Jones in consultation with the E.P.P.G. and other diocesan bodies initiated a review of the role of all such bodies in the diocese. This review is expected to conclude in August 2009 and may lead to a reconstituted E.P.P.G.