At the request of Archbishop Martin, Parish Pastoral Councils were established throughout the diocese around 2005. Our Parish Pastoral Council commenced work in January 2006. The role of the Parish Pastoral Council is to identify pastoral needs and to help plan and coordinate pastoral programmes and services, working in close collaboration with the Parish Priest, Curate and Sister who are ex officio members of the Council. Diocesan guidance states that Parish Pastoral Councils are leadership structures that enable priests and people to work together to build up dynamic Christian communities that are characterised by prayer, hospitality, mission and evangelisation. The members of the Council seek to bring their knowledge and experience of life in the parish to bear on this task. The full Council meets on a monthly basis, with smaller groups of members assigned specific tasks meeting more frequently as required.
Among the initiatives promoted by the Parish Pastoral Council to date have been:
- Establishing the Peace Corps / Localise which provides opportunities for young people in the parish to serve their local community;
- Establishing the Active Retirement Group to provide an outlet for parishioners of more mature years to be involved in a range of interesting activities;
- Setting up a Friendly Call service for housebound parishioners to ensure that they are contacted by telephone every day;
- Exploring the possibility of establishing a grouping with other parishes in the vicinity;
- Developing a Parish Website to facilitate communication both within the parish and with the outside world;
- Introducing visiting speakers on various aspects of faith development;
Formulating a parish Mission Statement;
- Seeking ways to create a more welcoming parish;
- Organising Area Masses for the various parts of the parish;
- Developing and promulgating a Child Protection Policy and Child Protection Guidelines for the parish in collaboration with the parish’s Child Protection Officers;
- Providing training in child protection and facilitating Garda vetting for people whose involvement in the parish could bring them into contact with children;
- Organising an annual Volunteering Sunday to make parishioners aware of opportunities to become involved in the various groups serving the parish community;
- Exploring the establishment of an ongoing link with a community in Nigeria based on a foundation of Glenstal Abbey.
The current members of the Parish Pastoral Council are
President: Very Rev. Richard Sheehy Co PP.
Chairperson: Eilín Kirwan
Secretary: Liz Collins
Members: Patricia Close, Carmel Ryan, Laura Conlan, Seán Kielty, Tony Moroney, Joan Uí Chonchúir, Sam Synnott.