This page keeps a running account of what ACI is currently undertaking and planning.
ACI Steering Group
Summer 2017 – The Steering Group is discussing what contribution ACI could make to the World Meeting of Families set for August 2018 in Dublin.
Pleased to hear that the Irish organisers of this are ‘consulting widely’, the ACI Steering Group hopes to contribute to a national conversation on the support that the church needs to give to families in the future, including those families that do not fit the stereotypical model of family that is idealised by the traditional church.
We have a concern also that many Irish families may have become so disaffected by recent drastic failures of church leadership in Ireland, that they may be sceptical that the church can have anything to offer them in the future – and may effectively have ‘tuned out’.
We are especially anxious to hear from such families, and to be guided by them in whatever contribution we might make to that national conversation next year.
Irish Church Soon in ‘Free Fall’!
Face the crisis with us: join the discussion!
Before leaving his post as Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown warned in March 2017 of an approaching ‘cliff edge’ and ‘free fall’ for the Irish church. He was speaking of a looming collapse in the number of priests fit to serve – but this problem is intimately connected with the absence of young people from our churches.
So far there is little sign that most Irish bishops are ready to acknowledge this crisis and face it head on.
We in the Association of Catholics in Ireland are already doing that, on this website. With a ‘World Meeting of Families’ set for August 2018 in Dublin, we plan to launch a national conversation on the need for families to take responsibility for transmitting the faith and revitalising our liturgies.
Key questions have either already been covered on the ACI website, or soon will be:
‘Faith Formation and Fear of Shame’
In this article, first published in the Maynooth monthly The Furrow in July 2017, Sean O’Conaill argues that it is probably fear of the likely results that prevents Irish bishops from researching (in a publicly accessible form) the effectiveness of Catholic schools in faith formation – given the current situation in which so many young people and young adults are alienated from the Church.
Faith formation: the role of home, parish and school
Faith formation? Take it out of school altogether.
In these articles Aidan Hart and Sean O’Conaill make the case for parents and parishes to take from schools the primary responsibility for passing the faith to younger generations – and Aidan explains in detail how this can be accomplished.
Mass, Eucharist and Communion: Teresa Mee
Teresa explains what’s missing from our way of ‘celebrating’ the Eucharist, and how that could be changed.
These interlocking problems of faith formation and faith celebration can only be addressed by a new conversation between hierarchy, priests and people – with families taking the lead. Formed to promote that conversation, ACI asks its members to join the discussion.
What do you want to say on these issues? Please do not put this off.
Either email us to firstname.lastname@example.org , or add a comment below one or more of these articles here on the website.