Building Hope is the diocese-wide initiative to move forward with positive actions for each parish. Part of the process is to identify resources needed to move forward with initiatives in parishes and to start work on those initiatives.
On Sunday 26th June, there will be a meeting at 12.15pm (after the 11.30am Mass) to discuss these matters. See the current parish newsletter for more detail.
Below is a list of the various ideas which came up during the synodal pathways discussions held here in the parish:
Feedback from recent Synodal gatherings and discussions, email responses and Synodal feedback box in response to question:
‘What could the church do to attract you and your family to greater participation in the parish community?’
- Family mass – with involvement in the planning, choice of songs etc. 5.30 an awkward time on Saturday (volunteers willing to help organise)
- Variety of familiar, ‘joyful’ songs from our range of choirs – including our Filipino, Gospel, regular and Scoil Mhuire children. Provide word sheets for parishioners to join in
- Youth Mass/Prayer service (volunteer willing to organise)
- Encourage younger people to get involved as altar servers, readers and Ministers of Eucharist, bringing up of gifts
- Encourage blessing of young children/babies who can’t receive communion
- Themed Masses/Services – exams, Ukraine, all babies baptised in year, a Thanksgiving day, Grandparents day with grandchildren
- More relevant, meaningful homilies applicable to daily life and addressing current social issues (gender neutral readings)
- Upgrade microphone system – many people can’t hear priest
- Guide people on whether to kneel/stand during mass, especially at funerals also encourage active participation and responses from congregation
- For funerals, place an image of the deceased in front of altar well before coffin arrives so people can focus on the deceased in prayer
- Invite laity, including youth to give short talks/homilies. Volunteers could talk about their experiences of helping in the parish
- Welcome people individually to church at start of mass and also engage at end of mass
ADULT FAITH FORMATION
- Educational Talks – eg meaning of the mass, the different elements – meaning of Eucharist etc. Inspirational Speakers on how Christianity provides anchor points of meaning in life.
- More participation of lay people – more lay led prayer groups, Lectio Divina, Bereavement Support Group, Book Club
- Gather teenagers 2/3 times p.a. to get their opinions. Tie in with secondary schools/TY students/TY projects on church related/environmental issues
- Focus on smaller groups, encourage people to have prayer gatherings, discussions in their homes one suggestion re. stations/mass in people’s homes
- Bring back rituals – Corpus Christi procession, Brigid’s crosses, May altar in church garden (more visible)
VISIBILITY WITHIN COMMUNITY
“We need more openness, creativity and sharing in our parish”
- Publicise good works and actions of church – be more visible and active in the community promoting social justice, charity, caring for the environment, eco congregation
- Blessing of Boats – more involvement with harbour and lifeboat
- More outdoor services during summer months similar to ecumenical Easter service, Blessing of Animals
- Lighting of Christmas Tree
- Howth Camino Pilgrim walk (maybe stations of cross)
- Charity Walks – Darkness into Light etc.
- More social events – Christmas social, summer BBQ, party for Communion children. Outdoor hospitality sessions after mass in church grounds (be seen!). Concerts in church.
- Priests be seen locally, outside of church – more accessible
- Parish reps visit people in their homes (eucharist) – eg sick, bereaved, elderly.
- Follow up with the bereaved – letter, phone call. (Some elderly would have appreciated a phone call during pandemic).
- Welcoming signs/banners at Easter, similar to christmas (LCD?)
- Louder church bells at mass times – an invitation
- Electronic Newsletter (schools)
- Bigger Noticeboard outside church. Noticeboards and website need to be more creative and have links to support groups eg Aware, Bereavement groups etc and have regular up to date information on courses, retreats, workshops, resources, Spirituality and adult faith formation programmes.
- School Programmes – Do this in Memory, Faith Friends: Grow in Love,
- Greater use of Social Media Platforms connecting with younger adults
- Have an Intentions tree
- Regular Prayer Service in local nursing home
- Community centre – that can be used by variety of parish groups
- Provide creche facilities in parish centre during mass to encourage family participation
- Identify and learn from other parishes who have introduced progressive ideas and programmes
- Greater collaboration with other parishes and churches
- Review current Admin/Secretary role as overdependence on volunteers. Every parish/cluster of parishes should have a Pastoral Worker.