1. Cup of tea as we gathered – a great idea!
2. A quieting prayer
3. Aideen Darcy Pastoral Co-ordinator for Bray /Enniskerry told the meeting of her work.
Aideen has a backgound in music and theology. She gave up her full time teaching for pastoral ministry and works with pastoral councils, schools and on preparation of people for the sacraments. She has also established a Bray and Enniskerry Pastoral Area Facebook page which carries our meeting notices.
Aideen told us of an initiative for reform and renewal called Rebuilt. It was the subject of a conference in Maynooth last September attended by 700 . Rebuilt is a programme based on the a very successful reinvigoration of a parish in Maryland, US, by Fr Michael White and his lay colleague, Tom Corcoran. It promotes the Eucharist as a welcoming community celebration with the active involvement of many in music and prayer.
Aideen has a small group looking at this programme to see if there are applications relevant to here. A book has been published called Rebuilt and the detail is available on www.rebuitparish.com.
Members at the meeting responded to Aideen quoting specific experiences of “freedom as laity to become actively involved” through contributing to reflection on the Word by occasional responses to the homily and experiences of vibrant Eucharist celebration at St Fergal’s . Some questions were aired, including “What could be the key fruits of a lively participative Eucharist for family?”
Aideen asked if ACI North Wicklow would like to participate in the local discussion on this and this was agreed. Eimear Hegarty volunteered to be our representative.
4. The Synod Lineamenta and Questionnaire
We discussed the dissemination of the Synod Lineamenta and tried to fathom the reasons for its apparent lack of distribution in many parishes. We wondered what ACI could do about this. We decided that each of those present would consider approaching their local Parish Priest and/or Parish Council and ask why the Lineamenta is not being distributed and discussed in the parishes. It was suggested that information on this with a reference to its availability could at least be mentioned in the Parish Newsletters.
5. Update on other matters
- An ACI General Meeting of all members to respond to the Lineamenta and Archbishop Eamon Martin’s request for ACI’s views will be held in the Regency Hotel, Swords Road, Drumcondra, Dublin on Saturday, March 21st.
- The ACI website has been developed further and includes an easier joining process. Annual Subscription is €10 (€5 for unwaged)
- Teresa and John reported attending a talk by Angela Hanley on her new book “Whose á La Carte Menu?” which looks at some of the best scholarship in the Church since the Second Vatican Council and attempts to make it accessible in plain and simple language. She says the Church has always been á la Carte since changes have occurred throughout its history!
- The ACI Facebook site continues to be a wonderful resource of information on media comment on church matters.
- The publication of our Minutes on the ACI website last month got 9 comments-something of a record!
Next Meeting: Wednesday 11th March 2015, at 8.00 pm
From Josephine Dowd.
I was thinking of what was said at our meeting and what positive ideas I could contribute.
Yesterday I was in touch with my niece in Peru. I know she doesn’t go to Mass so I told her about the wonderful Healing Mass that took place in Newtown yesterday for the 23rd day of the sick. I sang which was a great privilege and the congregation were very happy with the celebration.
My niece said ‘I think that is a great thing about religion that it brings people together – a sense of community’.
Well, that sentence struck me as very important and maybe what we are lacking at our Sunday Masses is that sense of community.
My niece lives in the Sacred Valley where there are lots of events, such as a brunch and sacred dance on Sundays that brings people together and music events. It’s not the Mass but I got the sense of a deep spirituality so while our young people don’t wish to be in a Church building, faith is part of their life. We just need to know how to tap into it.
Just a few of my thoughts.
I also believe that, as Josephine says, ‘what we are lacking at our Sunday Masses is that sense of community’.
The Mass is meant to be a community celebration of the life, death and Resurrection, of the living Christ among us – not confined to death, resurrection and ascension as we have it now. Right now in Ireland we experience the Sunday Mass as a sacrificial offering by a priest on behalf of an assembly ‘for us men’. The original form of Eucharist as celebrated in the New Testament communities would, I believe, bring young mothers and their families back to the Sunday celebration.
Perhaps for starters, we could at least, after the readings offer spontaneously some ‘prayers of the faithful’. But we still have a long way to go.