PARISH FORUM Part 2 – Wednesday 14th November at 7.30pm. Thanks to all who attended the Parish Forum last Wednesday. Loads of ideas were generated and we decided to meet again to choose the most important ones. So, half the work is done and if you’d like to help us prioritise our ideas and set a realistic agenda for renewal of our Church, come along this Wednesday and join the discernment.
Archbishop Diarmuid says: “The question now arises: where do we go forward now in the challenge of renewing the faith we carry in our own hearts and renewing the life of the Church?” and “Each parish and parish community can find its own path of reflection, with the help of the Parish Pastoral Council. The aim is not to provide instant answers but at least to begin to set out a realistic agenda for renewal of the Church in the years to come.”
Write up from Part 1
Summary by Max Rosner
7th November 2018
Last Wednesday evening, a group of over 20 parishioners of Francis Xavier Church gathered to address both the renewal of parish life and the Irish Church at-large. The conversation centred on Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s September 3rd letter, in which he called each parish to explore the following question:
“Where do we go forward now in the challenge of renewing the life of the Church?”
The forum was led by Father Gerry Clarke, SJ, the Parish Priest who began this discernment process by quoting Pope Francis, who even in difficult times calls us to Christian joy:
“Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved.”
Ultimately, Francis has challenged us to see the church as an evangelizing church, or in other words, a community of believers that spreads the joy of the Gospel.
In the spirit of heeding both the pope’s and the archbishop’s call, the parishioners proposed dozens of ideas, especially ones focused on transmitting the faith to younger generations. As the conversation neared its end in the Blessed John Sullivan Room, the discernment process began to embrace a more abstract tone. What is the Church? What is the life of the Church? What is worth perpetuating in the life of the Church?
In the shadow of these looming questions, the evening concluded in prayer and thanksgiving.