Church calls national assembly to chart future vision

Major pastoral assembly planned for 2014

A major pastoral assembly to be held next year will chart a fresh blueprint for renewal in the Church here.

The key consultative meeting, which is planned for September 2014, is part of a worldwide push for renewal in the Church and will focus specifically on the role of the laity in the life of the Church here.


News of the symposium follows the recent publication of the document Evangelii Gaudium in which Pope Francis urged Catholics “to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open”.

Bishop Donal McKeown, a member of the committee planning the special assembly, told The Irish Catholic this week the conference will prioritise adult faith development and establish a plan for the future of the Church in Ireland.

“The conference is part of a national strategy to enable diocesan personnel to learn and aims to provide them with the resources they need to assist in their pastoral outreach.

“It will provide a forum where we can agree on a shared ecclesiastical vision for the future of the Church in the context of global renewal,” the bishop said.

Also speaking to The Irish Catholic this week, Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare & Leighlin said the meeting will be “a great opportunity to encourage the positive and good work already happening at local parish level, while also giving a boost to those who may need it”.

“Ultimately the conference will be about exploring faith and the New Evangelisation.Evangelisation is the way forward for 2014,” he said.

Meanwhile, organiser Sr Anne Codd, said the conference will be about “capacity building”.

“The primary aim of the conference will be evangelisation and it will enhance the capacity of participants to go out and do the same.

“It will be guided by the vision of Share the Good News and will offer participants the opportunity to grow together into a living faith community, that is, a community of evangelisers,” she said.

The national assembly is set to take place in Athlone from September 25-27, 2014 and details are expected to be distributed to parishes and communities early in the New Year in an attempt to maximise lay participation.