Between the months of June and October 2007 an initial consultation on clustering, ratioalisation, new parish structures and ministries was held among the pastoral councils, pastoral groups and priests of the diocese. The feedback from this initial consultation has now been compiled and is available for download, either in full or in summary form. You can also ask for a copy from any of the parish priests in the diocese.
Concluding his report, the author, Shane Halpin said:
Having read all recorded submissions from the diocese, I believe that there is now a greater understanding of the challenge facing the diocese in the years ahead. It is generally believed by those consulted that the process, if we are honest with each other, has been undertaken primarily because the number of vocations entering the priesthood has dropped. It is also the general consensus that this proposed strategy outlined in the consultation document, although not explicit, has for the most part already been decided. There is also a realisation that the ‘how’ and the mechanisms to enable this process are not in place yet and people are interested to know what is waiting for them.
Finally, there were many respondents from all sections of society embracing fully the concept of a more involved laity and recognition that all are called to the ‘royal priesthood.’ There were many too, in favour of any strategy that had the agreement of the people and most were thankful for the opportunity to be consulted and encouraged by the future challenges that can be faced together.