Building Hope Questionnaire
I am engaging in a process of listening and ascertaining the opinions and thoughts of the people from our parish of Maynooth or those of you who celebrate the liturgy with us here. This is part of an initiative by the Archbishop entitled ‘Building Hope’, those two words are very meaningful. We are always in the process of building, trying to see new ways of responding to the changing times that we are presented with as a parish.
While faith in the structures of the church have been rattled in recent years, faith in God is still very strong. This faith is more needed today than ever as people search throughout life for spiritual fulfilment. This is what life’s journey is all about.
It is the role of the church to support people on that journey, to try and reflect on the meaning of life, the meaning of the true word of God, with love and compassion at its core. One of my concerns is the reduction in the number of priests.
This requires a hugely changed church. We need to address the role of women, the involvement of young people, the LGBT community feeling fully part of our community, the support of the marginalised. The future is one where lay people play a much greater role in spiritual leadership to replace the rapid decline in the number of priests. At a practical level this in itself will bring change to the number of masses we can have on weekends.
I am sure you may have your own concerns, hopes and aspirations for the future. I would love to hear from you on your reflective thoughts.
While the future of the parish is uncertain, we also remain hopeful because we all can play a part in building our parish into the future. I am hopeful for Maynooth because I see how many of you are involved in the parish and there is room for more people to become involved. I am also hopeful because, while regular mass attendance has declined, people are still actively availing of spiritual services as they feel the need, whether it is to light a candle (over 60,000 candles were lit last year), thronging to the annual Mass at Laraghbryan each year, spiritual support at times of sickness and bereavement etc
I would appreciate it if you would write or email me with your thoughts and opinions. Together with the Building Hope Committee, I will input the correlated results into the diocesan-wide initiative. If you wish, you can also access a link to answer the Building Hope questionnaire below here on this page.
Thank you for reading my letter. I look forward to hearing your suggestions on how you would like to be involved in the process of building a hopeful future for the parish.