Diocesan Pastoral Council
The primary function of the Council is to act as a conduit between the people of the parishes and Cardinal Brady and Bishop Clifford. We ensure that the views and wishes of the Parish Pastoral Councils are heard and appreciated by the Cardinal and that, in turn, we reflect his counsel and wisdom to those councils.
As with the Parish Pastoral Councils the Armagh Diocesan Pastoral Council, under the guidance of the Cardinal, must be involved in providing leadership to the people in the continuing development of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan. We work in close liaison with the Office of Pastoral Renewal and Family Ministry and the other planning groups on all aspects of the Diocesan plan. We must actively promote all aspects of the plan and, because of our linkages to the parishes, we must be aware of and sensitive to the issues that concern them as the plan evolves.
The Armagh Diocesan Pastoral Council will play its part in supporting the work of clustering, rationalisation, new parish structures and ministries in the diocese. This is an important time for the Archdiocese as we begin the process of organising our future. The Council will have a role in facilitating the implementation of the plan and ensuring that the Parish Pastoral Concils are both equipped and empowered to promote the new structures in their parishes. The role of the people as baptised followers of Jesus in ministry in the Church is reflected in their greater participation and involvement in Pastoral Councils. This responsibility will increase and change as the process of clustering is implemented. The Armagh Diocesan Pastoral Council will also change in the next few years to respond to the requirements of the new organisation of the Archdiocese.
The Armagh Diocesan Pastoral Council is made up of members of all the Parish Pastoral Councils in the archdiocese. Normal meetings of the Council are held with a Core Group consisting of representatives who have been nominated by regional groupings of the Parish Pastoral Councils as well as representatives of other lay organisations in the Archdiocese. These Core Group meetings are the main method of communication with the Cardinal and Bishop.
An annual Plenary Session is held, to which all Parish Pastoral Councils are invited to address specific issues of importance within the life of the Church in Armagh.