The Armagh Diocesan Assembly of Priests in Bundoran in November 2004 addressed this topic with the help of Fr Jack Finnegan who acted as facilitator. By the end of the conference the assembly had created a draft vision and mission statement.
This was followed by extensive consultation process, which was held during Lent, 2005. People from every parish were invited to a consultation gathering that was being held in their part of the diocese. The focus question for these gatherings was: what do we as Christian need to be attending to over the next three years? In all, over 2000 people participated. The outcome was the formation of nine working groups to address the major areas of concern identified in the consultation process. They are:
- Faith Formation
- Youth Ministry
- Prayer and Spirituality
- Meaningful Liturgy
- Care for Priests
- Developing the Role and Ministry of Women in the Church
- Family Ministry – Life Issues
- Outreach to Others – Ecumenism and Interfaith Dialogue
- Leadership and Training – (which includes: Diocesan / Parish Survey – Attending to Diocesan and Parish Structures – Parish Pastoral Councils.)
In presenting the pastoral plan to the people of the diocese, Cardinal Brady said:
I have no doubt that implementing this pastoral plan will be a learning experience for all involved, and that it may well lead us in directions totally unforeseen. Success will be slow and at times hard to quantify, but I know that with the assistance of people of faith and goodwill, much can be achieved to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make the presence of His love and the consolation of His truth more effective in our world through the mission of the Church.
The work of the nine working groups is ongoing and occasionally updates from the working group will be available in this section of the diocesan website.