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Ireland: Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, creation of a Pastoral Council to “reflect on the challenges and changes facing parishes”

A Diocesan Pastoral Council will be established for the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, whose task will be to reflect “on the challenges and changes facing parishes”. The Council will comprise three lay people and two priests from each of the deanery areas and will be chaired by the Vicar General John Byrne. “I have intentionally structured the Diocesan Pastoral Council to include more lay people than priests as the priests already have many vehicles for conversation, discussion and discernment, including the Council of Priests”, said Bishop Denis Nulty who announced the establishment of the new body. The creation of the new Council is the fruit of eight meetings of reflection at the diocesan level that followed on from the publication of a Pastoral Letter by Mgr. Nulty in May 2017 on “Facing Changes & Challenges Together”. “The Diocesan Pastoral Council is an attempt to create a new culture in Kildare & Leighlin Diocese, where priests are allowed and permitted to ‘let go’ and laity encouraged and empowered to ‘take up’. It’s a move from ‘spectator’ to ‘player’ mode”, Mgr. Nulty said. The work of the Diocesan Council will inspire every parish to “renew, reform, re-energise their own Parish Pastoral Council”, in answer to this question: “What is God asking of me in Kildare & Leighlin at this time?”. The new body will hold its first meeting on 29 January. Now the deaneries are invited to choose their representatives, who must be “people of faith who have competency, interest and skills”, “carefully chosen by their peers and supported completely by them” for a service that should “help shape the journey ahead” for a “preferred model of Church”.

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