Welcome and opening remarks by Bishop Leo O’Reilly at the Kilmore Diocesan Assembly which took place on 25 – 26 October 2014.
The theme of the Assembly was taken from three words Pope Francis used during his first homily as Pope: “Walking Together, Building the Kingdom, Professing our Faith”, and marked the culmination of two years of planning and consultation. Over 300 delegates attended on each of the two days including representatives from each of the 35 parishes in the diocese, priests and permanent deacons, religious, pastoral assistants, and representatives of apostolic and church-based organisations and societies operating in Kilmore.
Over the course of the two days, delegates discussed a number of issues including the findings of a diocese-wide listening survey; current patterns of sacramental practice; effective ways of ministering to young people; and proposals for future directions for the diocese in the light of the decreasing and aging number of clergy. There were a number of small group and open forum discussions during the course of the Assembly during which the delegates reflected on how to address key pastoral challenges facing the Church in Kilmore. A team of fifty facilitators collated the responses from the small group discussions.
All the delegates agreed that what was important now would be “follow-up” and “action”. A report on the Assembly and its recommendations will be made at all Masses throughout the diocese on Sunday 23rd November, the Feast of Christ the King. At the same time the Diocesan Pastoral Council will begin work on turning the recommendations into a Pastoral Plan to serve the diocese until 2020.