Prayer and Reflection: The meeting opened with a reflection and hymn “Spirit of the living God”. We alternated the agenda items throughout the meeting with a prayer or reflection.
Meeting with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: Teresa and Eimear, who were part of the ACI delegation that met Archbishop Martin on 28th May, reported on the meeting. The tone of the meeting was informal, friendly and relaxed. The Archbishop acknowledged the ACI submission for the Synod and confirmed it had been forwarded to Rome. He said the response in the diocese to the questionnaire had been somewhat better compared with last year, with 55 parishes responding. The delegation highlighted some of the points raised in the ACI submission including: the need for review of annulment procedures ; the reality of marriage breakdown and access to the sacraments for those in second relationships; the need for review of birth control aspects of Humanae Vitae and the pastoral care of LGBT people and their families.
The importance of involvement of married laity in the Synod was acknowledged by the Archbishop and he hoped for greater representation of laity.
The delegation stressed the need for practical dialogue between disaffected catholics and the institutional church and suggested an all-Ireland assembly to address the issues. The Archbishop offered his encouragement to finding remedies at grassroots level. See press release on acireland.ie.
Being part of the ACI Group: As this was the last meeting until September members commented on the meaning of the group for them. Comments included : the value of sharing in a small group; the genuine commitment and interest of members; non-judgemental yet like-minded people; a ”flicker of a flame”, continuity of reform search; recognition of a slow process “not in my lifetime” and not being expected to be a “textbook catholic”.
Rebuilt update: Aideen D’arcy, Pastoral Worker had held a number of meetings in the Bray Enniskerry area on this parish renewal programme, which Eimear had attended and reported on. The aim is to improve the welcome for people in church and encourage a sense of belonging. There is a Training programme commencing Monday 29th June for four Mondays in Our Lady Queen of Peace, Bray at 7.00 p m . ACI members are welcome.
Ten Tips for an Ignatian Summer
Any spiritual exercise; Mass and a Sacrament; Spiritual Reading; Gaze at the wonder of the stars; Write a letter to a loved one or a friend; Join the company of the marginalized- homeless, prisoner; Go on a pilgrimage; Find time to laugh; Look for how God is speaking to you; Relinquish something; Give your liberty, your understanding, your will to God.
Source for detail: americamagazine.org/ten –tips –Ignatian-summer
Next Meeting : Wednesday 9th September 2015