Tuam Diocesan Pastoral Assembly took place on the weekend of November 11th and 12th. 2006. For two days over 350 representatives from every parish across the Archdiocese of Tuam gathered in St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam to formulate a three-year Diocesan Pastoral Plan.
Sr. Mary Corr accepts the mandate on behalf of the elected representatives from the Archbishop
An eighteen-month consultative process had focused on five main areas of pastoral concern (Sharing Ministry, Renewing Liturgy, Engaging with Young People, Building Community and Preparing for Change) and identified and prioritised the issues which needed to be addressed in each of those areas as the Archdiocese plans for the future of the Church of Tuam.
On Saturday, groups working in the five areas of Pastoral Concern named two achievable tasks which over the next three years would address the issues which were prioritised. On Sunday the ten tasks were presented to the whole gathering. Theses ten tasks make up the Diocesan Pastoral Plan.
In order to ensure that the Diocesan Pastoral Plan is put into action an Implementation Body is now being set up. The Implementation Body will be made up of 10 elected representatives from the Pastoral Assembly itself, three nominees of the Council of Priests, three nominees of the Council of the Laity and three nominees of the Archbishop. The Implementation Body has been mandated by the Archbishop and the Pastoral Assembly to implement the Diocesan Pastoral Plan. While the Implementation Body will have a central role it will be the responsibility of the whole diocese to bring the plan to life.
The following are the ten tasks presented by the Pastoral Assembly.
Education training and support of those involved.
- To identify, recruit and train individuals for specific ministries and to identify and employ/provide resource people to realise this task.
Ongoing Planning and open discussion of ministry in parish
- To encourage each parish to form a core group (formed from existing Pastoral Councils) to develop and train ministry teams in three/four core areas (eg Liturgy, Communication, Faith Formation, etc)
Training on Liturgy; including an understanding of the Mass and the place of the homily.
- To provide localised training and resources for volunteers involved in all types of liturgy. This will require that each parish have a liturgy group.
Encouraging greater participation: involving various parish/groups/station areas/families/children.
- To appoint a Diocesan Resource Person to enable parishes to fulfil their liturgical mandate.
Engaging with Young People.
Listening to, affirming and involving young people.
- To set up a Diocesan Youth Pastoral Team to train and guide Parish Youth Teams. Parish Youth Teams made up of both lay and ordained will set up a forum to listen to, affirm and involve young people. This will be done through organising social and liturgical events, retreats, charity works and general activities.
Catholic Education: home, school and parish
- To resource and train full time lay catechists who would organise information evenings and courses and support schools and parishes in providing instruction on Catholic Education.
Developing a parish faith community
- To train people for various lay ministries in order to promote mutual confidence between lay and ordained and to enable lay people to give direction, support and leadership.
Outreach to newcomers, alienated and vulnerable
- To ensure that every Pastoral Council will set up a committee (including youth) to welcome, communicate with and assist newcomers, alienated, vulnerable, and prisoners. This committee will identify needs and provide training and local information packs.
Preparing for Change:
Ongoing formation and development of pastoral councils.
- To promote a standard Diocesan Pastoral Council training programme.
Facing the reality of fewer priests.
- To set up a standard Diocesan training programme: to train and prepare laity in leadership roles and in the administration of the various ministries at parish level
The Archbishop with some of the youth group
Fr. Tod Nolan – Chairman of the Assembly Committee
The elected representatives in the Cathedral after the Assembly