Looking forward to Saturday’s inaugural meeting Cardinal Brady said “All of our work is guided by the new diocesan aim which we launched in June: ‘As a diocese, we aim to be the body of Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit so that we can live like Jesus in our time and place sharing his compassionate love with all.’  Our objective is to sustain parishes as vibrant faith communities into the future.

“The new Diocesan Pastoral Council is an important moment in the life of the Archdiocese of Armagh.  It underlines the reality that we all share, as a faith community at diocesan level, regarding our shared responsibility and commitment to the life of the Church.”

“The emergence of these new realities for the diocese is the fruit of many years planning and hard work and it has involved huge consultation with all of the faithful.  The new structures bear testimony to the resilience of the Church and to the commitment of the faithful as they look for new ways to continue the work of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit in our time and place,” Cardinal Brady said.

Fr Michael Drumm and Dr Tony Hanna will be the two main presenters and the event will be facilitated by Fr Andrew McNally

The new Diocesan Pastoral Council is one of the major structural initiatives that Cardinal Brady introduced on 1 June 2010 when he promulgated the constitution that brought the Council into being and commissioned three hundred people to take up active ministries within the diocese.

The Council membership is drawn from all the states of life with the vast majority being laywomen and laymen. The Senate of Priests has representation on the Council as do the Religious and the new ecclesial movements.

The role of the new Diocesan Pastoral Council will be to act as an umbrella group to advise Cardinal Brady and help to plan the pastoral programme for the diocese over the next few years.