Daring to Believe & Proclaim the Good News
- a time to get real?
A Two-Day Conference
for Committed Lay People
The Abbey Hotel,
Christian Brothers Secondary School
& Sacred Heart Church,
Saturday April 20th & Sunday April 21st 2013.
Conference Workshop Information
Over the two days participants will have an opportunity to participate in three of ten available workshops.
Baptised for Life
- unpacking the mystery and the promise
A workshop for all who are baptised and baptism team members:
(i) integrating opportunities to look again at the significance of our baptism,
(ii) revisiting the promise baptism represents, and
(iii) entering into the mystery we become.
Colette Furlong is Catechist with the Sligo Cluster of Parishes and previously served as Pastoral Services Manager of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.
Rural Church Areas as “faith” communities
- Exploring our strengths and imminent challenges
Deacon William Gacquin
Are rural church areas to survive or to thrive? The Elphin diocese’s thirty-eight parishes / ninety-one Church areas are currently served by sixty-seven priests, many of whom are in their seventies and who continue to serve communities very generously.
What changes can we anticipate as older priests retire from active ministry? What are the issues and considerations that rural communities need to reflect upon? Should we be proactive now or reactive later?
Deacon William Gacquin initiates the discussion, taking the prevailing strengths of rural communities as his starting point.
Deacon William Gacquin is chairperson of Curraghboy Parish Pastoral Council and a teacher in the Christian Brothers Secondary School, Roscommon.
Being Catholic in a Multi-media age
- How can I play my part?
Kevin Leavy & Petra Conroy (Catholic Comment)
In 1963, at the Second Vatican Council, the Church recognised the capacity of the press, films, television etc. to reach and influence not only individuals but the whole of human society. Fifty years on this seems like an under-statement and many committed Catholics recognise the importance of engaging in public debates, having competent people to present Christian positions etc. in news and current affairs programmes and participation in on-line forums. For some of us, there is also the matter of wanting to participate but not having the confidence to do so.
In this workshop Kevin Leavy and Petra Conroy will share how they are playing their part as members of the recently established Catholic Comment communications initiative (www.catholiccomment.ie). They will also invite discussion on what needs to be done today and how we can best go about it.
Kevin Leavy is Principal of Feevagh National School, Dysart, Co. Roscommon. Petra Conroy is National Project Co-ordinator for Catholic Comment and prior to taking up this position worked as a film-maker and trainer. She also has a Masters in Catechesis from the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham.
Why are so many young people not practicing?
- Exploring our concerns and thinking.
Moya Hegarty OSU
The choice of adult children and grand-children not to practice their faith and participate in the sacramental life of the Church can be a source of great pain, heart-break, frustration and incomprehension for many older committed Catholics. Is it a matter of living with the pain and offering it up or is there more to it?
Through this workshop Sr. Moya Hegarty OSU will seek to support participants honour two important dimensions: praying our feelings around the non-practice of loved ones and the challenge of being a witness within one’s own home and family circle.
Sr Moya Hegarty OSU is an Ursuline Sister living in Sligo. She lectures in Biblical Spirituality, at St Angela’s College, Sligo and is engaged in Retreat Ministry as well as in Spiritual Direction.
“To sing is to pray twice” (St. Augustine)
- Exploring the Mass through hymns, old and new (Sunday only)
Just as the prayers of the Mass reveal much about God and human nature, so too do many hymns recommended to choirs and congregations for singing at the Sunday Mass.
Through this workshop Bridgeen Regan, will share a selection of such hymns – old and new -, speak about the teaching their contain and invite participants to sing along with her.
Bridgeen Regan is Catechist with the Roscommon Cluster of Parishes and with Castlerea parish.
The Mystery Sound of God’s Word (Sunday only)
Fr. John Cullen
The human heart has many hungers:
There is a hunger for food, our daily bread, which lies at the heart of our world. The bread of God's Word nourishes and sustains us.
There is a hunger in the heart for freedom, as so many of our appetites enslave us.
God's Word whets our appetite for freedom.
There is a hunger in the human heart for forgiveness. Our fractured, fragile selves search for the word of forgiveness 'like a dry, weary land without water'.
There is a hunger for fidelity in our world of broken promise.
We fear the fickleness of 'forever'. God's Word is one of faithfulness and promise ... forever.
There is a hunger in the human heart for friendship.
Our famished hearts are fed with the eternal, whispered friendship of God's Word.
There is a hunger in the human heart for faith. We long for a God who whispers in our hearts a word of Faith in the Hope that is the gift of Love.
The human heart 'tunes in' to the 'wavelength' that is the 'mystery sound' of God's Word - which invites, challenges, disturbs and comforts us.
Come, let your hunger be nourished at the table of God’s Word.
Fr. John Cullen is parish priest of Kiltoom & Cam parish and chairperson of the Elphin Diocesan Council of Priests.
Growing in Understanding and Confidence
- Introducing the Studies in the Catechism of the Catholic Church programme.
Nuala Caliendo and Philomena Travers
Since 2004 adult groups have been forming all over Ireland to engage in an Adult Studies of the Catechism of the Catholic Church course. More recently there has been an explosion of interest with groups forming at a rate of one-per-fortnight. Two such groups are located in Sligo and another two in Athlone and there are plans to bring the course to other centres in the Elphin diocese.
Participants in this workshop will be provided with an overview of the course, get to sample the course resources, hear testimony of other people’s experiences and experience elements for themselves, in a spirit of mutual enquiry and sharing.
The workshop will be presented by Nuala Caliendo and Philomena Travers.
Nuala is a wife, mother, grand-mother, member of the Families of Nazareth movement and secretary of St. Mary’s Parish Pastoral Council.
Philomena is a wife and mother and a member of Faith and Light.
Town Pastoral Councils 2013 - 2023
- What needs to be considered?
Fina Golden & Barry McMahon
Town parishes are facing an era of unprecedented change and have much to reflect upon, consider and plan for. Critical groups in terms of this type of reflection and planning are the Parish Pastoral Council, the Parish Finance Committee, the Parish Liturgy Group and Apostolic Groups serving the parish.
In this workshop Fina Golden and Barry McMahon identify and reflect on some of the on-going and emerging challenges, i.e. in the light of their involvement in St. Mary’s Parish, Sligo, and the Sligo Parish Cluster.
Fina Golden is chairperson of St. Mary’s Parish Pastoral Council and former chairperson of the Elphin Diocesan International Eucharistic Congress Preparation Committee.
Barry McMahon is Deputy Supreme Knight of the Knights of St. Columbanus and chairperson of the Board of Directors of Sligo Social Services.
When daily Mass goes
- Exploring the recommended options
The number of adults participating in daily Mass has never been higher. Every day thousands of Irish people make their way to their local Church for Mass. Sadly, this is unsustainable. Soon daily Mass will no longer be a common feature of rural parish life and other parishes are likely to experience a scaling back of Masses.
Mindful of the pace of change the Irish Bishops’ Council of Liturgy has been reflecting on this question and last December they circulated a document to every Irish diocese entitled: Weekday Liturgy When Mass is Not Celebrated. The Weekday Liturgy When Mass is Not Celebrated document seeks to support and promote a meaningful consultation with priests and people around what is to happen when daily Mass is no longer possible.
Through this workshop Justin Harkin will:
(i) introduce the recommended options,
(ii) illuminate related teaching, and
(iii) invite participants to share their views, hopes and concerns.
Justin Harkin is Director of Pastoral Development with the Diocese of Elphin.