I commend to you the Annual Report and Financial Statements 2018-2019 for The St Patrick’s Archdiocesan Trust. In doing so I express my gratitude for the work of so many people for supporting and advancing our objectives: the lay faithful, clergy, religious, employees, volunteers and others working within our 61 parishes together with other organisations and societies which help to make up the “family of families” that is the Archdiocese of Armagh.
I am heartened that so much has been achieved over the past year in spreading the Joy of the Gospel in accordance with our Diocesan Pastoral Plan.
We have just launched a year of prayer and reflection in preparation for consideration of a new Diocesan Pastoral Plan for the start of this new decade. The Church must always respond to the ever changing circumstances of modern life, taking account of the ongoing decline in vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, while at the same time harnessing opportunities for the baptised faithful to find their own particular calling and being enabled to bring their gifts and talents to building up their Church.
Highlights of 2018-19 include our amazing local launch of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in the summer and the visit by His Holiness, Pope Francis to Dublin. The WMOF has provided us with much inspiration for the renewal of catechesis and family ministry throughout the Archdiocese and Ireland.
The recent unveiling of the shrine for St Oliver Plunkett in St Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh which was prepared for during 2018-2019 has also helped to inspire a sense of witness and courage amongst the people of the diocese and beyond. The persecution of Christianity around the world is helping to make us aware of our own daily crosses and sacrifices, and encouraging us to be stronger in our faith, firmer in our hope and more active in our charity.
The Annual Report and Financial Statements are more than just figures on a page – they tell the story of the efforts and priorities of the Archdiocese of Armagh and provide a record of our work. I am grateful to all who contributed to producing them. As Trustees we are committed to open governance, transparency and accountability are we will be taking further steps to enhance good governance and communication both within the Archdiocese and with those with whom we come into contact.
A full copy of the Annual Report and Financial Statements and a summary of the Financial Statements to 31st March 2019 can be view below.
+ Eamon Martin
Archbishop of Armagh