15 Dec 2018

16th December 2018 - Introducing Pastoral Units & Team Ministry - Interview with Bishop Brendan Leahy

On this weeks programme the SS102fm team are on the road where we travelled to the new Diocesan Office in St Munchin's College to interview Bishop Brendan Leahy. Bishop Leahy discusses the new pastoral units and changes it will mean in parishes, the issue of vocations and seminarian formation, and lay led liturgies and explaining why the diocesan policy is not to distribute Holy Communion at them. In addition we have our regular reflection on the Sunday Gospel as well as saints of the week and other liturgical odds & ends.

You can listen to the podcast of the entire programme HERE.

Interview with Bishop Brendan Leahy

Bishop Brendan Leahy joins us on the programme this week to discuss various issues and changes which have arisen with the main change being the introduction of a Team Ministry approach to deal with the falling number of priests which was confirmed for the Diocese of Limerick. In addition to the introduction of the pastoral units he reflects on the  need for vocations and possible changes needed to seminary formation; we discuss the introduction of the lay led liturgies in parishes and how in Limerick diocese the policy is not to distribute Holy Communion at week day liturgies; and briefly discuss his inclusion in a list as possible successor to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

From 2nd December 2018 teams of clergy will minister in each unit but existing parish identity will be preserved.

The new units will involve a number of parishes operating together, with two or three priests ministering together as a team to the pastoral needs of these parishes. Each of the priests will be a “co-Parish Priest” and will move around the pastoral Unit, resulting in different priests saying masses in parishes week on week.

There will be one pastoral council per pastoral unit made up of members of each of the parishes of the unit. Each parish then will have its own smaller working group.

Bishop Leahy commented that “The main goal in establishing pastoral units and team ministry is greater co-operation between parishes. The hope is that there will be a greater critical mass of energy, competencies and lay volunteers at the service of a number of parishes. As the Irish saying puts it, Ní neart go cur le chéile - our strength lies in unity,” in the pastoral letter.

“But our new arrangements are not just about responding to the decline in the number of priests. For the past fifty years, the Catholic Church throughout the world recognises we need to work more in a team spirit. It is something Pope Francis underlines when he speaks of 'synodality'. We journey to God together. We need to promote arrangements that encourage greater co-operation and exchange between parishes.

You can listen to the interview with Bishop Brendan excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - Luke 3:10-18

The crowds asked John the Baptist,“What should we do?”He said to them in reply,“Whoever has two cloaksshould share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.”Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,“Teacher, what should we do?”He answered them, “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”Soldiers also asked him,“And what is it that we should do?”He told them,“Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”
Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water,but one mightier than I is coming.I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floorand to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people.
Reflections on this weeks Gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflection
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3

Saints of the Week

December 17th - St Lazurus of Bethany
December 18th - St Flannan
December 19th - Bl William of Fenoli
December 20th - St Fachanan
December 21st - St Peter Canisius
December 22nd - St Abban of New Ross

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