By Peg Prendeville

Congratulations to Geraldine and John Hayes, Glenbawn, who became grandparents on Monday 5th for the first time when their son Michael and his wife Catherine gave birth to a son who will be also called Michael. We wish them all much happiness.

Happy 40th birthday to our friend Tom Sno who celebrated the big occasion at the weekend.

A meeting of the Parish Hall committee will be held on this Thursday, October 8th at ten past eight in the Parish Hall. The committee is very open to new members joining.

I, along with 275 others, attended the Limerick Diocesan Synod on Saturday. At this meeting in the Strand Hotel we were presented with the results of the questionnaire which was organised by parishes throughout the diocese last May. Over 4000 questionnaires, from parishes, schools and various communities, were returned. All these were documented and each comment noted. I am most impressed by the background work that has gone into organising all synod events so far but especially by the way all these results were documented and graphed in the Diocesan Office. The findings were categorised into 23 topics which then resulted in these being narrowed down to 12 main topics which the people of the diocese decided needed attention. These were (in alphabetical order)

Care of the Earth – 326 mentions

Community and Sense of Belonging – 4243 mentions

Faith formation/Education/ Catechesis  – 1823

Healing Hurts  – 538

Liturgy and Life –  3172

Ministry Roles  – 1852

New Models of Pastoral Leadership – 2905

Pastoral Care of the Family – 2497

Social Justice – 302

Spirituality and Ways of Praying – 493

Women in the Church – 720

Young People – 902

It was the task of the parish delegates to pick six of these topics which will set the agenda for the three days of synod in April 2016.

We were asked to approach all these topics with a sense of “openness, generosity, courage and trust”. Each topic was presented in more detail to us delegates with moments of quiet prayer in between. The Holy Spirit was kept busy!

At the end of the presentation we were asked to vote (privately) 1 to 12 in the order each person thought was most important, again trusting in the Holy Spirit for guidance. The first six topics would be chosen. The result was very definite as follows:

Community and Sense of Belonging

Faith formation/Education/ Catechesis

Pastoral Care of the Family

New Models of Pastoral Leadership

Liturgy and Life

Young People

There will be much more work between now and Easter 2016 on these topics but I will keep you updated as we go.