Minutes of ACI North Wicklow Meeting
Held 26th October 2016
Theme: Being a Catholic Today
Cup of tea.
Sursum Corda-Lift up your hearts. Kahlil Gibran,poet “ I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy”
Teresa Mee plans to develop a presentation for small groups on Francis’ Joy of the Gospel. The idea is to pick out the key points and relate them to examples in her own experience including her years in Brazil and to invite those attending to give examples from their own lives. This would identify all the good things that are being done by people in their day to day lives. Some examples mentioned were Focus Ireland, Simon, First Responders and Vincent de Paul. That is mission too. Being a “practicing” Catholic isn’t just about attending Mass on Sunday. Many young people are doing fantastic work in loving their neighbour but may rarely go to Mass. This is often religion and life knitted together-answering the question “What am I doing for people?”.Also important to celebrate life through song and listening to each other. Jesus often used meals in His mission. Teresa also sees “Table Fellowship” as part of Christian life.
In Brazil although they may have had nothing they always had something to give.
It was recognised that reform won’t be fast and our late member Kevin O’Flaherty’s words were recalled “Not in my lifetime” but it’s better “to light a candle than curse the darkness”
The Light of the Gospel
Eimear Hegarty spoke of her work with the local Lectio Divina group which deals with the Gospel as living word and discusses its meaning. It was felt that this approach to Scripture can help us hear the word in a deeper way.
When no Priest is available for Mass
This has a risen in local churches occasionally and the response of the people attending has varied from just leaving to doing readings and prayers and even distribution of Communion. The National Centre for Liturgy published a book in 2015 giving various options for such Prayer Services. However this does not seem to be widely used to date. Given the overload on priests it was suggested that this might usefully be discussed with the Association of Catholic Priests.
Visit by Marco Politi to Ireland
The author of the recently published “Pope Francis Among the Wolves” gave talks in Dublin and Carlow recently. Notable in his remarks were the statistics on the support that the Pope enjoys for his approach among his bishops: 20% in favour, 10% against and 70% on the fence! When Marco was asked what would happen “reform” when Francis goes and he replied that it could happen in a few short years but that he would expect reform to continue but more slowly.
Bray Churches Together
An interdenominational meeting to discuss the Nicene Creed will be held at The Well in Bray on 7th November at 7.30 p.m.
It was agreed to hold an Advent meeting on the theme”The Meaning of Christmas” . Date: Wednesday 7th December at 8.00p.m.
Minutes of ACI North Wicklow Meeting
Held 7th December 2016
Theme: The Meaning of Christmas
Some new members and a cup of tea.
Invitation to Holy Spirit to be with us.
Follow up on Last Meeting
Teresa’s proposal “Moving Towards Church Reform and Renewal-ACI Srtategy and Steps Proposal” was distributed and discussed. The proposal is to run workshops with those groups helping the disadvantaged and homeless.The workshop would contrast and compare the experience of the Latin American Church with that of the challenges being faced in Ireland today.
Article by Fr Joe McVeigh on the Church’s future
A priest in Enniskillen, Fr McVeigh feels the greatest need in parishes today is to develop small groups to reflect on and pray the scriptures. Groups like Lectio Divino.
1. The commercialisation of Christmas has undermined the original meaning. However it was acknowledged that the giving and good wishes that occur between people is a positive thing. Family and friends reconnect with each other in a proactive way. Charities receive one third of their support during the Christmas Season
2. Could the Churches be opened to accommodate the homeless with the support of the army or indeed the parishioners. The churches are empty but the homeless are without shelter-no room in the inn.
3. The spirit of goodwill over Christmas should be carried over into the year to come.
4. The neutralising of Christian expression at Christmas was discussed and it was noted that the crib had become politically incorrect in places. Marking a religious feast whatever faith should be accommodated. We seem to have to apologise for being Catholic-the shame of being a Catholic! The lack of media balance and support.
5. While ceremony had a familiar comfort value and deep meaning for some it would be worth exploring other forms of Christian expression to renew and refresh the visit to the Church. The speed of change in recent years has meant that, while older generations can be comfortable in the present form of Church, often it isn’t at all fulfilling for younger people. A free expression of what people believe in now as part of a “creed” could be interesting.
6. Sometimes the clerical and religious clothes exaggerate the distance and can act as a communication barrier. However ceremony clothes have a place in certain situations.
Given the importance of catechesis the work of groups like Lectio Divina should be supported. There are several such groups in the North Wicklow area. It was agreed that it would be good for members to support such groups and maybe others who are renewal focussed. It was decided that for our next meeting we would meet with the Lectio Divina Group in St Fergal’s by way of support for the initiative.
The meeting of the next Lectio Divina Group is on January 19th in St Anthony’s Room, St Fergal’s