Last weekend Bishop Donal McKeown wrote to us about the possibilities and challenge facing the Church in Down & Connor in the years ahead, particularly where he talked about the difficult decisions and sacrifices, we have to make as congregations get smaller and the number of priests fall. We believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ, and there is always good news in the Church.
In the pastoral letter a vision is set out of a Church which faces up to the profound changes we’re living through, that seeks to go out and make new disciples, and which welcomes everyone into a relationship with God. This is a courageous vision that will require us to look at how we are structured as a church.
The Pathways to the Future Committee are developing ideas on how we can collaborate across our parishes as “Families of Parishes”.
In families of parishes, we will see a new range of ministries develop in which lay people will play a crucial role. If we want to pass on the faith to the next generation, to see our congregations grow again, to see Catholics making a real difference in the community and to nourish new vocations to religious life, we have to do things differently – and we all have a part to play! On Trinity Sunday, may the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless us as we take the first steps on our pathway to the future.