Athenry Pastoral Council- Easter 1998

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A Pastoral Council – Getting it off the ground!

The Athenry Pastoral Council aims to work with the Priests in helping to meet Pastoral needs in our parish.

The suggestion for it came around ‘a cuppa’ in the New Park Hotel in Nov ’96 where 50-60 people were evaluating the First Season of Renew. At that gathering suggestions were aired for Support for Youth, Families with special worries e.g. Bereavement, Visitation of Sick and Elderly and more involvement of the Laity in our Sunday Liturgies.

Fr. King followed up on this and invited interested people to a meeting in the  Canton Hall just over a year ago. A public invitation was in the Newsletter over two weeks. It was open to all who were interested. More ideas were tossed around at that gathering and five people – Kathleen Quinn, Eileen Lyons, Fiona Caulfield, Carmel Farragher and Margaret Seery were nominated to form the nucleus of a Pastoral Council. Within a short time this group invited representatives of other groups already involved in providing pastoral services to join them, so the nucleus group expanded to include Kieran O’Keeffe, Gilbert McCarthy, Ned Waldron.

Since last March the Pastoral Group meets monthly. The agenda of these meeting is mainly centred on what is happening and how improvements can be made and planning Pastoral programmes.

But the Parish Pastoral Council concept is still very much at the infancy stage. If it is to become effective it needs to grow further – to have more people involved.

Would you like to be part of Athenry Pastoral Council? You are very Welcome.

Windows on the Scriptures

The series of talks on Windows on the Scriptures presented by Fr. Benny McHale, was organised in response to many requests within the Parish. Following the second season of Renew, participants were invited to complete an evaluation form, and the overall result indicated a strong desire for further guidance and insight on the Scriptures.

We were very lucky that Fr. Benny was available- his talents are in great demand for Retreats, courses and talks – and a series of four talks were organised for September. An open invitation was issued to all parishioners in the Newsletter and from the pulpit. A very large number responded and were duly rewarded with a very human, humorous and relevant journey through the Bible. His great love for and understanding of the Scriptures was contagious and those of us who did not have Bibles were quick to rectify this situation lest we miss out on the slightest detail,

Fr. Benny led us through the Bible as a journey with Christ, describing the back-ground with great insight and humour, relating the situations and revealing the messages that relate to the issues that confront us in our everyday lives.

The Old Testament he compared with our own Irish Folklore and that was a revelation and made a lot of sense! With the parables, our reading, reflecting and situating ourselves in the story, can act like a mirror through which we can observe our own conduct, attitudes and values.

Fr. Benny highlighted the Scripture Readings to be encountered in the third Season of Renew and heightened the enthusiasm of those participating. He remarked – the Greek word “en-theos”, from which enthusiasm is derived means – “to be possessed by” God.

Fr. Tony King, P.P.

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About this record

Written by Tony King

Published here 23 Mar 2023 and originally published Easter 1998

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