Cardinal Dew to address conference in Ireland on the future of parishes

future of parishes

Cardinal John Dew will be giving talks in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly and in the Archdiocese of Dublin as part of a pastoral conference at the end of the month.

He has been invited by the Irish archbishops to speak about the Wellington Archdiocese’s experience with its own Launch Out programme, established to form lay pastoral leaders.

His topic will be Lessons from New Zealand, Launch Out: Lay Pastoral Leadership Roles.

Fr Éamonn Fitzgibbon, director of the Irish Institute for Pastoral Studies, says the time has come for Ireland to look to experience elsewhere and receive the wisdom garnered by others.

Other countries have faced and addressed the challenges now confronting the Catholic Church in Ireland, Fitzgibbon says.

“We need to be open, generous and humble enough to allow that learning to inform us, as we try to ensure parishes can be all that they are called to be.”

Other speakers and facilitators at the conference on the future of parishes include Martin Kennedy, Dr Margaret Lavin, Fr Matthew Nunes, Dr Jessie Rogers and Bishop Michael Wüstenberg.

Cardinal John will leave next week for Ireland.

Before going to the conference he will attend the World Meeting of Families 2018 from 21-26 August.

Of his visit, Cardinal John commented, “It is a very significant event for the Church in Ireland which has been dealing with many difficulties in the last few years.”

The three-yearly international event brings together families from around the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the central importance of marriage and the family.

There will be a simultaneous opening of the meeting across the dioceses of Ireland, followed by the three-day congress reflecting on the meeting’s theme of ‘the Gospel of the family: Joy for the world,’ one chosen by the Pope himself.

The congress will feature keynote speakers, workshops, talks, cultural events and musical performances.

It will conclude with a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Phoenix Park, Dublin, where it is expected hundreds of thousands will gather.


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