Appendix 1 to Derry Report 2006

Ministry and Change

Summary of Meeting with Laity – ‘Hopes and Fears’
The Pastoral Centre, Maghera
Thursday 12 March 1998

Hopes Expressed

• a more open Church

• a Church that is more inclusive of the marginalised

• a vibrant, joyful, singing Church

• deeper understanding of the Church as the Mystical Body

• Church that stands for peace, justice, reconciliation and liberation

• greater sense of community where each person will feel valued

• revival, a re-awakening of the Holy Spirit within the Church –

A Church that will continue to do the things she does well – the rites of passage at birth death marriage etc.

More involvement of men
Equality and respect for women
A higher profile in Church life for 18 – 25 year olds
Greater involvement of youth in the life of the Church

Optional marriage for clergy
Invite back those priests who left the ministry to marry
The ordination of women to priesthood

Synods at diocesan and national level with lay involvement
A Pastoral Council in each parish
Greater involvement of the laity in administration of the parish
A ministry of welcome for those who are new to the parish

More effective re-education of adults and all age groups
More opportunity to read, listen to and meditate on the Word of God
Opportunities for development of prayer life

Emphasis on the privileges and responsibilities of Baptism –
A new look at the timing and administration of the Sacraments
Revision of preparation for reception of Sacraments

More supportive of the social activities of young people
More involvement of priests in pastoral care in schools

Inter-church activity to be given a higher priority

Fears expressed

Empty churches
Decrease in numbers attending church, especially the young
Decrease in the number of priests

A Church completely out of touch with reality
Deterioration in relationships between laity and clergy
Lack of good leadership through fear
A Church where young people are not heard

Loss of sense of community within parish life
Economic prosperity will diminish the need for God
Greater marginalisation – the poor will become poorer
The Church will become elitist

Complete break-up of family life
Loss of role models for young people

Disillusionment amongst priests and people
Uncertainty about the role of the priest
Lack of support from clergy on moral issues

Older people fearing even more change

Loss of sense of sin
Lack of prayer

Future roles (i.e. of laity) within the Church:

Reaching out to the vulnerable, the marginalised, the divorced, the unemployed, the widowed and others in need Evangelisation on a person to person basis To hand on the faith to young people through example

Membership of Pastoral Councils – decision making opportunities
Management of parish e.g. finance

Lay ministry within the Church, readers, eucharistic, music e c.

Facilitation of groups within the parish, e.g. liturgy
Would welcome opportunity to preach and lead discussion groups

Effective counselling services with support from clergy