On Sunday 28th May, 17 new members of the Parish Pastoral Council were commissioned in Newry Cathedral Parish. Canon Francis Brown conducted the service at the 12 noon Mass and said that ‘it was apt that these new members were appointed on Pentecost Sunday, since God by the light of the Holy Spirit had instructed the faithful that day and kindled in them the fire of his love’. These new members will join those on their second term of office.
Newry Parish Pastoral Council was first formed in June 2011. Members are expected to serve a minimum of three years and a maximum of six. The council meets once monthly from September to June each year. Our Parish Pastoral Council enables priests and people to work together to build up dynamic Christian communities that are characterised by faith, evangelisation, worship, and service. To this end they discern what is best for the parish in light of the gospel, the church’s teaching and what the Holy Spirit is saying through the People of God.
Their main tasks are
- Reflection and Planning: Discerning the needs of the parish community and involving the whole parish in response to the needs
- Animation: Enabling the baptised to discover their call as disciples of Christ by discerning the gifts of the parishioners and developing them through the provision of training and on-going formation.
- Action: Providing structures that will marry the needs of the parish with the gifts and resources in the parish.
- Communication: Ensuring that effective dialogue takes place within the parish, the diocese, and the wider community.
- Evaluation: Reviewing the life and activities of the parish so that parishioners might have a sense of proceeding towards bringing about the reign of God.
To this end they work on advising on strategic issues, responding to church correspondence and played a part in feeding into the recent synodal pathways. They also help with the planning of the liturgical year and were instrumental in preparations around the November Masses for the Dead, The Blessing of the Graves, leading on the organisation of Eucharistic Ministers, Readers, Stewards. They had a key role in ensuring our churches were compliant with Covid restrictions during the pandemic.
The Bereavement Ministry in the last year has provided assistance at around 150 wakes and funerals and will further develop its programme over the next year by providing a Book of Remembrance in the Cathedral. The PPC also lead on providing spiritual training for parents and godparents in Baptism and wish to develop spiritual training for parents of First Holy Communicants and those receiving Confirmation in the next year.
The new members of the Parish Pastoral Council pictured outside the Cathedral on Sunday with officers of the Council. From left to right: Brian O’Donnell, (Secretary), Suni Checbi Bino, Lisa Mullin, Sheila Chambers, Hugh McShane, Treasa Davey, Margo Cosgrove Patricia McMahon, Canon Francis Brown ADM, Siobhan Burns ,John Mills, Ciaran Hanna, Teresa McAteer, Martin Goss, John Rooney (Chair).
Members not present in the photograph are, Chacko Baby, John Cosgrove, Glenn Ryan, Celine Kurian, Marie O’Loughlin, Paddy O’Hanlon, Ronan Mullholland.