NA Deanery Event - 29th June 2014

NORTH AYRSHIRE DEANERY (ST MARY’S) EVENT

ST MATTHEW’s ACADEMY

29th JUNE 2014

 

205 parishioners from 12 parishes and 8 priests attended the deanery event in St Mathew’s Academy. A breakdown of the numbers attending from each parish is attached as Appendix . The programme for the event is attached as Appendix 2. The following is a record of the feedback from the group work. Most groups made comments on questions 1 and 2, and noted their concerns and hopes.

Q1 Discuss what you have heard this morning about the three horizons process as a way of discerning together a way forward for the Church in our deanery.

  • Priests want to move forward

  • Unnecessary detail – some people overwhelmed by detail

 

  • Yes . Happy with the process of three horizons. Nearly understand it.

 

  • Can’t carry on as it is.

  • Need some form of process to move forward.

  • People happy that this is a good process.

 

  • Good starting point

  • Reflected in past – good

  • Lack of information (priests communication to parish)

  • Not everyone has access to internet? To print out

  • Surprise at scope of three horizons. How much can we do – lack of influence

  • What happens if priests move on?

  • Reiterates the need for Catholic schools

 

  • Feeling it was a good structure & process to work from

  • Not really clear o the 2nd horizon. Good support document

  • There is a feeling that it is too much to take in in such a short space of time

  • There is concern that we are losing too many of the young community

 

  • Maybe we are still behind where we ought to be

  • We agree that everyone has a role to play and welcome the increase in recognition of this.

  • Togetherness – Christ at the centre of the process

 

  • Too much information and jargon – (feudalism, clericalism, authenticity) We as a group want to move forward, engage with young people, make faith central to their young lives. what do the young people want?

 

  • Important we have a format

  • Is it a business procedure? It’s a practical example. A framework Positive – A good basis for discussion

 

  • Clear presentation – still don’t understand the 3 horizons programme – need more knowledge

 

  • A) Effective process

  • B) Proactive preparation – rather than reactive

  • C) Realistic

  • D) Consulting and involving laity

  • E) Excitement – things are happening

  • F) Not often asked!!

  • G) Looking for involvement

 

  • Hopeful and brave of priests – should be commended for this

  • Broad picture was difficult to follow. Was an overview covering good and bad ideas.

  • Distilling ito half an hour was difficult to convey to large group

  • Where are we in the process? Could follow analogy of three horizons. Hard to now think for ourselves Brought up not to query

  • (Present) model not sustainable – things have to change.

  • Will we get feedback from questionnaire?

 

Question 2 From what you have heard so far do you think engaging in the three horizons process on 7th September as priests and lay people together will help us to discern a hopeful way forward for the Catholic Church in North Ayrshire deanery.

  • Yes. We have to be prepared to discuss lay people and priests together. To hear each other’s experience and opinions.

  • Concern: how do you choose 10 people for 7th September. What if more want to attend? How do you make sure their views represent everyone.

 

  • Supportive of three horizons process and are hopeful of this.

 

  • Yes

 

  • Need to encourage the young from start. 7th September after school start. ? school Inform schoolchildren

  • If young people think that the church – as in this process – is wanting to be working in the present day they will be encouraged to be involved

 

  • Engagement between priests and lay people should be of benefit

  • The feeling is more time is required in each parish to meet more before 7th September.

  • The process is a bit “Americanised”

 

  • This is a good start, talking ad opening up, sadly lack of young people from the deanery, how can we get them involved in the process to hear their voices because they are the future of the Church

 

  • Priests need our support.

  • Cooperation/ discussion required before 7th September so that people fully understand.

  • Allow 7th to the be more purposeful

 

  • Don’t think it would be particularly useful to lay people

 

  • A) Yes. It has to be beneficial/ positive

  • B) Method of selection from parish. How do they decide this?

  • C) Will this be open?

  • Practical and positive outcomes to the discussions. – Should there be individual reports to individual parishes by people attending here? Is it only going to be online?

  • Representative: St peters St Mary’s Largs St Mary’s Irvine Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, St Winnins

 

  • They have the potential to succeed.

  • .Will depend on how it is managed

  • Have no alternative, must go along with it.

  • Sense of belonging. Good to feel opinion matters & will be listened to

  • Priests need to show they are behind it

  • Older priests must be challenged by idea of change

  • Unfair to burden young priests

 

 

 

CONCERNS

  • Lack of community

  • Not outward looking

 

  • Youth problems

  • Adult education lacking

  • What the laity are going to be asked to do

  • The Sacraments – rules and who officiates at Sacraments

 

  • Not enough priests

  • Not enough congregation

  • People frightened of change

  • Lack of: meaning of life being made clear to parish members

 

 

  • Priests v Laity. How do we work together?

  • Faith not nurtured enough

  • Closed church – are we welcoming? Can the church be seen as too judgemental or building barriers?

  • Need honesty. What is wrong? Admit who we are

  • What do young people need? Ask young people these questions

 

  • Falling attendances, particularly young

  • Supporting the priests

  • More “normal” approach to defending the church from attack

 

  • Age of clergy/ Active laity

  • Divorced/ Gay/ Lapsed/ marginalised/ can’t go to sacraments

  • Laws rather than Jesus works

 

  • Closure of parishes

 

  • Loss of membership due to closure of parishes

  • Attendance at Church by young people

  • Lack of congregational vibrancy

  • Not reaching out to all ages. Gap between provision for young before 1st communion and afterwards

  • Not enough scripture teaching

  • People have been “sacramentalised but not evangelised”

 

  • Closing churches

  • A lack of young people involved, today is an example

  • From our past experiences it may be a “done deal” already

 

  • Are we going to keep our church

  • How are we going to engage the youth

  • Lack of vocations & Bishops are out of touch with laity

 

  • Not appealing to young people – not relevant to modern society

  • Woman’s role

  • How we should stand up against modern issues e.g. 1. Same sex marriages 2. Contraception

 

  • There is a level of hostility towards even answering these questions

  • This is not unanimous

  • An increase in vocations is obviously a priority

 

  • Exclusion of the sacraments – divorcee

  • We need the young involved

  • Where are the future priests going to come from?

  • Finances to accommodate change?

 

  • Ignorance as far as duties of alternatives to priests

  • Need for more deacons – encouragement for increase

  • Women deacons? Are there any existing?

  • Women priests?

  • Language – especially for young people – make more accessible

  • Very often depends on who is saying Mass/ giving holily as to how meaningful and how easy to understand what is being said.

  • Opening doors ad attitudes to welcome everyone. Young people, poor etc

 

  • Better Instruction in all aspects of Faith and Sacraments

  • Lack of priests

 

  • Shortage of priests (cost of education)

  • Need for further humanisms

  • Lack of parents – not attending Mass

 

  • A) Engaging young people – the future – Perhaps a separate group for them – engaging the primary ad secondary schools

  • B) Priests and laity to engage with young people

  • C) Financial. Buildings. ???????:- Age is older. Locations. Church sharing across denominations

 

  • Taking people with you will be difficult

  • Elderly bishop a problem – a ship without a captain

  • Time to move on. Need greater uniformity – some churches closed all day

  • No laity led Eucharistic services allowed

 

  • Cynicism that clergy already know how they’d like to proceed (not a

 

HOPES

  • Creating a community spirit.

  • Welcoming Church

  • Education women

 

  • Maybe more married priests – Diaconate

  • Church more inclusive eg women, single people

  • Ask us what we would like to do to help.

 

  • Being the person we should be

  • Bigger part to play

  • Role of women I church

  • Role of married people

  • The laity more involved

  • Ability to use ministers in pore of the service

  • Universal Church is required

  • Adult education: small groups for

  • Adults on spirituality

  • Bus trips for families to return

  • Bible education classes

 

  • Deep need for faith and expression of it in different ways for the community

  • Better communication, people can understand ad know eg Church teaching, papal encyclicals

  • Option for the poor. Becoming a supportive , caring, accepting, loving church

 

  • Should be allowed to discuss “taboo” such as women priests, married clergy

  • To follow the lead of Pope Francis

  • No longer part of the establishment and therefore appealing to the youth

 

  • Open honest information from clergy and communication between clergy/ laity

  • Catholic schools/teacher

  • Building a inclusive community with engagement with the world – which would be attractive to the young

 

  • That amalgamated parishes find support and hope from each other

  • Church is open – both being transparent and in engaging with all, non –judgemental

  • We are a people led by the Holy Spirit

 

  • Increased involvement of laity freeing to do things specific to their role

  • Sharing good practice between parishes

  • More evangelisation

 

  • Evangelisation programmes that are ongoing, not short lived

  • A model for laity involvement across the deanery

  • That more young people get involved

 

  • More involvement of laity in decision making

  • More access to sacraments for people not allowed at the moment

  • Embrace the poor

 

  • Catholic education still here (& hopefully goes from strength to strength)

  • Women have a more important role in the Church

  • That this process, now started, will yield some answers

 

  • This is the hope

  • There is a level of hostility towards parish amalgamations/ closures

  • This is not unanimous

 

  • Adapt/ accept to modern life – to attract young people

  • People of faith have confidence to fight the secular movement who want to eradicate faith in public life

  • To accept change

 

  • Welcoming and encouraging the youth back to Church

  • Tolerance – accepting everyone – allowing everyone to receive the sacraments

  • Embrace the change in unity as one church

  • Cooperation/ consistency among churches/ parishes etc

  • Access to a church each Sunday for one Mass (within reasonable distance)

 

  • Engage the young

  • Improved Catholic Teaching in schools

  • More vocations (Need to bring young people back)

  • Improve catholic education of adults and children

  • More laity involvement

 

  • More open and honest church – all inclusive. More emphasis on the priesthood of the laity.

  • Engaging with laity

  • Women priests/ married priests

  • Greater use of laity

  • Deanery community

 

  • 1) Aging population

  • 2) Start with schools

  • 3) Embrace new technology

  • Cornerstone church – Ark Fraser – attracts young people. Can we learn fro that?

  • Waiting for parents to evangelise – if they are not committed to their faith, what can be done?

  • Make up of schools. Not all pupils are Catholic. Does this affect ethos of schools. Does it make it easier/ harder?

 

  • Better listening as a way of encouraging dialogue

  • Greater involvement of youngsters

 

 

OTHER COMMENTS

  • Daily Prayer

 

  • Venue – for discussion – very poor –unable to hear one another