Athenry Parish Planning for the Future 2004

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Compliments of Finbarr O'Regan

Athenry Parish Map

The parish of Athenry embraces all that lies between Coshla and Cormacoo, Coldwood and Cudoo – the fields and the woods, the heritage and holy places, and all the natural beauty of the countryside but it is the people that make the difference. People bring their energy and vitality, gifts and talents to enrich life and bring inspiration and challenge. All the more so, since the number of homes have more than doubled in the past ten years. How can we draw upon and draw together all that we can bring to one another at this time?

“Let us go forward in hope. The new millennium is opening up before the church like a vast ocean upon which we shall venture relying on the help of Christ”. With these encouraging words Pope John Paul 11, in his letter at the close of the Jubilee Year, invites us to respond to the challenge of bringing the gospel to the world of the twenty-first century.

The challenge is that of trying to live our lives following the example and teaching of Jesus Christ. Like the call of Jesus to Peter when he came ashore and had caught nothing, to “launch out into the deep”. When they did so they caught a great number of fish The Pope has invited us who are privileged to live at this time to have the courage to face the future with fresh confidence and with the assurance that Jesus Christ is with us on our journey. We do not travel alone and we are invited to travel together.

“Where there is no vision the people perish” Proverbs. There are priorities in setting out a vision for the future.

One of the key ideas in the Pope’s letter is that all pastoral renewal has to be built on holiness – that is on knowing Jesus better and being more closely united with him.

He speaks of the need to promote what he calls a ‘spiritually of communion’ — that each person is made in the image of God; to see the face of God in one another; to share their joys and sufferings; to sense their desires and needs; to make room for one another and build a sense of belonging.

To respond to the need of people is at the heart of the gospel. ”I was hungry and you gave me food to eat, sick and you visited me… ”

To nurture a ‘contemplative spirit’. What we do must be rooted in reflection and prayer, patience and listening to one another.

I wish to thank the Pastoral Council for taking on the initiative of the Listening Survey, the facilitators and all the people who responded in the various groups. In presenting this report and making it available, we are building on a good foundation, and l hope that it will receive a positive and active response.

l thank Margaret Seery, the Chairperson for co-ordinating this venture.

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About this record

Written by Tony King

Published here 19 Nov 2023 and originally published Spring 2004

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