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The church is struggling to keep connected to people today. This is presenting parishes with an enormous challenge of developing a faith which is rich and deep. The Athenry Pastoral Council, established in 1997, is seeking to meet this challenge.

The Pastoral Council comprises a group of parishioners working, with the priest of the parish, on ways to develop a lively church and a lively faith that can be part of this.

A number of new people joined the Pastoral Council this year:

The members now include:

Fr. T. King, Church St.

Fr. J. O’Gom1an, Newline.

Walter Burke, Cloonkeen.

Maureen Cannon, Cúirt Árd

Tom Coffey, Swangate.

Caroline Deehan, Raheen.

Maura Gannon, Ballyboggon.

Gerry Kenny, Farnablake.

Margaret Lane, Palmerstown.

Tom Monaghan, Caheroyan Crescent.

Tommy Moran, Moonbawn.

Ciaran O’Keefe, Ballygurrane.

John Muldoon, Kingsland.

Mary Ryan, Dun Ri.

Noreen Oliver, Caheroyan.

Austin Touhy, Palmerstown.

Margaret Seery, Ballygurrane.

Fr. P.O’Connor, Church St.

Owen Breslin, Cullairbaun.

Ronan Cahill, Mulpit

Derek Claffey, Dún Rí

Dick Corson, Moonbawn

Magaret Divilly, Coshla.

The Pastoral Council holds monthly meetings in the Canton Hall. A small part of each meeting is set aside for Prayer and Reflection. The meeting agenda is primarily focussed on identifying the hopes, needs and concerns of parishioners and searching for the best way to respond. ln as far as possible the aim to achieve this is by working closely with existing community organisations.

Some of the projects in which the Pastoral Council has been involved in the last year include:

Distributing an information brochure to every home in the parish on what the Pastoral Council is and what it can do.

“A Planning and Formation Workshop” in the Castlegate Hotel. This was well attended by parishioners. It was facilitated by Martin Kennedy, a layperson working as a Parish Co-ordinator in Tullamore.

lntroduction to Mass leaflets and Parish Newsletters.

Neighbourhood Celebrations in Dún Rí and Derrydonnell to welcome newcomers to the parish.

A seminar on suicide “From Heartbreak to Hope”.

Other projects which are still in the planning stage include:

Liturgy for small children to be held in the sacristy during Mass time.

Establishing a Bereavement Support Group.

In order for Athenry Pastoral Council to fulfil its role it needs to be in touch with people who care about the needs of the parish. lt wants to facilitate people who have time and energy to give to doing something positive. The Pastoral Council is most anxious to hear from anyone who wants to make things happen. Feel free to contact any of the Council members.


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Written by To be confirmed!

Published here 24 May 2023 and originally published Christmas 2001

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