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Training and empowering lay people to work alongside priests in Dublin

By Cian Molloy - 17 May, 2019

“We have to equip and train leaders and provide facilities for formation. We want to work towards a situation where all parishes in this Archdiocese benefit from their gifts and expertise. The new collection is one step in that process” – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

The fifth Sunday of Easter will be known as ‘Ministry Sunday’ in the Dublin Archdiocese from now on, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, giving added priority to his diocese’s need to train more lay men and women to work alongside priests in parish communities.

Immediately, the main effect of the renaming this weekend is that the second church-plate collection on that weekend will go towards a dedicated lay ministry training and development fund.

“The work of spreading the Gospel of Jesus in our changing religious culture will require more lay men and women,” said the Archbishop. “The Ministry Sunday Collection is about ensuring that we will have the people we need – men and women who will be to the fore in making our parishes vibrant faith communities into the future.”

Many people give themselves generously to various ministries in the archdiocese’s 199 parishes, said the Archbishop, counting his blessings.

“We also count on an increasing number of parish catechists, attending to the faith development of young adults and young families and to the catechetical needs of the increasing number of children who do not attend Catholic school,” he said.

“While many of those involved will be volunteers, we will have to equip and train leaders and provide facilities for formation. We want to work towards a situation where all parishes in this Archdiocese benefit from their gifts and expertise. The new collection is one step in that process.”

In contrast to some other dioceses, Dublin has two church-plate collections at every Sunday Mass. The first pays for priests and retired priests. The second collection usually goes towards ‘Share’, a Dublin diocesan fund that was set up to fund the development of church properties urgently needed by the capital’s rapidly expanding suburbs.

Otherwise the second collection goes towards St Peter’s Pence, the Pope and the Pontifical Charities, or emergency appeals made by Trócaire, the Irish Bishops’ Conference or the Archbishop of Dublin himself.

Annually, one of the second collections goes towards Crosscare, the Dublin archdiocese’s social services arm. From this Saturday evening on, once a year, the second collection in Dublin will go towards training and empowering lay people to work alongside priests.

The move follows the renaming of the second Sunday of Easter as ‘Divine Mercy Sunday’ by Saint Pope John Paul II in 2001.

The Dublin archdiocese is Ireland’s most populous diocese. As well as Co. Dublin, the archdiocese covers most of Co. Wicklow and has pockets in commuter-belt parishes in Kildare, Carlow, Wexford and Laois.

In a separate innovation, as part of ‘Féile Chill Mhantáin’ in Wicklow town, the 11.30 a.m. Mass in Eaglais Naomh Pádraig (‘St Pat’s Church’) will be as Gaeilge, in Irish. Is é an tAthair Dónal Roche a bhéidh ag ministéireacht agus ag céiliúradh an Aifrinn.

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