The consideration to form a parish pastoral council was announced to parishioners in November 2003.
In December 2003 parishioners were informed of the number of ministry groups and their work. In January 2004 two general meetings took place, both held in the local Glen Royal hotel.These meetings were facilitated by Ellie McKeown and Eilis O’Malley from Parish Development and Renewal. 130 people attended over two nights. A follow up meeting was held on 11th February for those interested in being part of the process of forming a Parish Pastoral Council (PPC). Two further discernment meetings were held. People reflected on their gifts and the gifts necessary for the PPC at this time. At the final meeting through a selection and prayerful discernment, 4 people were selected.
Five further people – who had attended the general meetings – were co-opted to the council. One person was co-opted and one young man had to leave due to study commitments. In 2007 with the appointment of Fr. Liam, the existing Parish Pastoral Council was disbanded. Two members remained to support the incoming new team. They met in early 2008 and in early 2012 the second Parish Pastoral council was formed.
Our Parish Pastoral Council meet on 1st Thursday of the month except July and August. At present we are meeting on Zoom due to Covid Restrictions. The agenda and relevant material is distributed the week before the meeting by the PPC secretary. The minutes are recorded and distributed directly after the meetings. Members agree to undertake work – if necessary – between meetings. A quota of 50% plus one will allow a meeting to proceed.
The P.P.C is a forum for reflection on the pastoral concerns, hopes and ideas of parishioners; Based on these findings it then defines the mission of the parish and determines the way forward. This type of discernment involves a process of reflecting and planning which means;
Listening to the reflection of the local community
Articulating a mission statement
Formulating practical proposals & action steps
Evaluating the process
So what are we hoping to achieve during our three year term of office;
To improve our ability to communicate with the parish,
To improve on our service to the parish
To improve the facilities for the parish.
The following tabs outline how we achieve these targets.
The lack of a regular newsletter in our parish is an omission which has to be corrected. It has been said to me by parishioners that if you go to mass on a Sunday in the most isolated places that a newsletter is usually available and yet in a progressive parish like Maynooth we are not able to produce one on a regular basis.
It has been decided by the P.P.C. to provide a newsletter on a weekly basis and therefore in order for us to be able to achieve this, we need a publications committee of four or five people to volunteer their services, people who might have a talent or an interest in the area of publications and would like to get involved. The time needed for this should be no more than one or two hours a week.
It has also been decided by the P.P.C. that a new mass book will be provided with the up to date text and this should be available within the next few weeks. Co-ordinator for this group is Damien Daly, member of the P.P.C.
It is our intention to install an internet service in this church. This will mean the installation of a camera which will be live on the internet for anyone to log onto. In practice this will mean that no matter where you are in the world, you will be able to log on to our system and join in, in prayer with whatever is happening at that time, for example for Family weddings, baptism, first communion, confirmation, funerals, Christmas and Easter.
Family members at home or abroad will be able to participate in the ceremonies as they happen. This will be a tremendous facility for our parish. We are also going to install a CCTV system here in our church. This is needed for the added security and protection of our parishioners. It is intended to have our internet and our security systems in place in the very near future. Leader of this project is Willie Holmes chairman of the finance committee.
We are very conscious of the need for a parish centre here in Maynooth and at the present time a small committee are examining what are the best options available to us.
There are several options being explored at the moment and we should be in a position to come back to you in the second half of next year with a firm proposal on how we can provide a modern, well equipped, parish centre to meet our needs. The P.P.C. is working very closely with the Finance Committee on this project.
The committee are also exploring the possibility of locating premises locally which will be suitable as a temporary parish centre on a short term basis. We will keep you informed of any progress in this matter. Leaders for this project are Willie Holmes and Noel O’ Neill.
We are looking at ways of improving our services and to make them more interesting and prayerful. A liturgy group is in formation at present and they recently met with Fr. Paddy Jones of the National Liturgy group based here in Maynooth College for advice and guidance. The group will work closely with our two priests to develop the liturgy.
The P.P.C. has decided to change some of the Mass times on Sunday due to the fact of problems of congestion particularly at the later masses. We are aware of the lack of parking spaces around the church and this is adding to the problem.
We are grateful to the school management for the use of the school yard for parking purposes on Sundays which helps us to cope with the volume of cars but not entirely. Therefore it is necessary to slightly change the times of some of the masses.
As and from the first Sunday in advent which is the 2nd of December the new times of masses will be 8.45 a.m., 10.00a.m., 11.30 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. There will be no change to the times of the 7.00 o clock mass on Saturday evening and to the 6.00 o'clock mass on Sunday evening. I hope you will understand the necessity for this slight adjustment to some of our mass times.
If you look at the wall with all of the posters you will realise how active and alive our parish is with all of the different groups. But we were reminded during our grow mission alive month that there are posters on the wall with question marks asking what is missing.
Well two of those questions can be answered, By forming a publication group, and if you remember last weekend the presentation made by Fr. David appealed for young people to help in forming a social and justice group If you are interested in helping us and want to find out more then you can contact me after mass, or Fr. Liam, Fr. David or Martina in the parish office.
When the pastoral council took up office earlier this year, the question of a pastoral area involving our parish was raised as an important item that needed to be dealt with.
The need for collaboration between parishes has been under discussion for over ten years. Facing the challenges of new pastoral realities, the 199 parishes of the Diocese of Dublin have been formed into fifty-seven Pastoral Areas. The three Parishes of Confey, Leixlip and Maynooth are now grouped as one of these Pastoral Areas.
Representatives of the three Parish Pastoral Councils, Parish Pastoral Workers and the priests of the parishes met recently to explore what this means. The integrity of each of the individual parish communities will remain in place and will continue to be respected. We look forward to working together in order to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. Coming together as a Pastoral Area involves a process of building up local faith communities, recognising our gifts and harnessing our resources for the purpose of shared mission.
The representatives of the three parishes will continue to meet in order to progress this initiative. As we do so we pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us as we embark on our journey of collaboration in mission I know I have given a lot of information during this presentation but a newsletter is available at the end of the church please take one home with you and read it . This will allow you to understand more fully what is happening in our parish and I thank you for listening to me.