Journeying Together in Faith – By Fr Pat Farragher
A booklet entitled ‘Journeying Together in Faith’ was circulated recently to all parishes of the diocese. It will be available in Churches on the weekend of the 12th and 13 of October.
This booklet contains proposals on how our parishes might best be served between now and 2020. The publication marks both an end and a beginning. It marks the end of a diocesan-wide consultation process with priests, pastoral councils as well as other relevant bodies which began in autumn 2012. It also marks the beginning of the implementation of the proposals contained in the document.
Journeying Together in Faith looks at the changes which will take place in the diocese between now and 2020. It makes proposals as to how we might equip ourselves to address these challenges in our communities and parish groupings.
The booklet seeks to address two questions: ‘What structures or supports need to be put in place to ensure that a parish without a resident priest receives the best possible sacramental and pastoral care?’ and ‘What groupings of parishes might be served by a lesser number of priests?’
In responding to these questions, the importance of Pastoral Councils and Finance Committees is highlighted. The growing role of the parish secretary and the possibility of a group of parishes employing a lay pastoral worker are also among the proposals made in addressing these two questions. A number of the proposals contained in the booklet are time-limited such as the decision regarding the introduction of the Permanent Diaconate in our diocese.
As well as making these proposals, the document also seeks to address the reality that by 2020 the diocese will have in the region of fifty priests available to serve the 55 parishes. Journeying Together in Faith proposes certain groupings of parishes which might be served by a lesser number of priests e.g. a grouping of four parishes served by three priests. Currently there are four priests serving in special ministries and it is envisaged that during the time-frame of this planning document that will be reduced to two.
Journeying Together in Faith is strong in the belief that this is a time of change which demands courage and faith as we address the challenges before us. The document recalls the challenging times our people faced in the past and invites all people in the parish to play their part in ensuring the faith is nurtured and developed in our communities.
This brief article has sought to give the context to the Journeying together in Faith booklet and to highlight some of its contents. Readers are encouraged to read the booklet in full for themselves. Hard copies are available through your parish or if you wish to view the document online you can do so at
Tá leagan Gaeilge le fáil ag