Lay Participation

As a faith community we are called to ‘Share the Good News‘.  The responsibility for this task is not for the Clergy alone but is the shared responsibility of all the faithful.  Lay Participation is central to the Living Church’s vision, it is a call for all to make a contribution to the life of our parish and local Church community.  During the course of the Listening Events there was a resounding call for the establishment of Parish Pastoral Councils that were effective and sought the engagement of the lay faithful.  The Living Church team will be supporting and facilitating existing councils to identify their priority areas for action.  Pastoral councils will enable local people to work co-responsibly with their clergy to identify the pastoral initiatives that need to be established for their own local area.

The Living Church team are also supporting 2 pilot projects within the Diocese.  Parishes in North Belfast and along the North Antrim Coast are working together as pastoral areas to identify how to share resources, talents and ideas for the good of the Church.   Grouping Parishes for Mission is strongly recognised within the Irish Church as one of the many ways to support our renewal.  At the core of these projects is the development of teams whereby laity, clergy and religious will become praying, discerning communities seeking to harness the generosity of all in the life and ministry of the Church.

 Prayer for the Church in Ireland

God of our fathers, renew us in the faith which is our life and salvation, the hope which promises forgiveness and interior renewal, the charity which purifies and opens our hearts to love you, and in you, each of our brothers and sisters.

Lord Jesus Christ, may the Church in Ireland renew her age-old commitment to the education of our young people in the way of truth and goodness, holiness and generous service to society.

Holy Spirit, comforter, advocate and guide, inspire a new springtime of holiness and apostolic zeal for the Church in Ireland.

May our sorrow and our tears, our sincere effort to redress past wrongs, and our firm purpose of amendment bear an abundant harvest of grace for the deepening of the faith in our families, parishes, schools and communities, for the spiritual progress of Irish society, and the growth of charity, justice, joy and peace within the whole human family.

To you, Triune God, confident in the loving protection of Mary, Queen of Ireland, our Mother, and of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all the saints, do we entrust ourselves, our children, and the needs of the Church in Ireland.