Here’s to a happy new year………
I was pleasantly surprised on New Year’s Day to see that several hundred people attended the morning Mass in St. Mary’s, and I hear the pattern was repeated in many churches around the country. New Year’s Day is not a Holy Day of obligation so those who attended did so out of some innate sense that this would mark a great beginning to 2019. On January 1st the church celebrates the feast of Mary the Mother of God and it seems entirely fitting to place our year under her patronage and protection.
A ‘Lucan Synod’ is in the offing…….
When we in the catholic tradition speak of Synods it conjures up pictures of mitred heads entering St. Peter’s in Rome for a high level summit on some special topic. Now in case you imagine that Lucan is about to be swamped by a band of bishops let me reassure you that it won’t - thank God. The term Synod refers to a gathering of church delegates on church matters and it does not refer exclusively to a gathering of clergy. Our gather might better be styled a parish assembly.
The changing Ireland that we find ourselves as part of poses some important questions and challenges for the church and indeed for each individual parish community. The days when ‘Father knew best’ are consigned to history and Catholics must now have an altogether more hands-on involvement in the life of the church at every level. Our Parish Pastoral Council in St. Mary’s have come up with the idea of a parish Synod. This would involve a gathering of all who are interested in meeting the challenges of today in an effort to form a plan, a strategy so that a new way of being parish might begin to take shape. This will call for some imaginative and creative thinking and not some ‘back to the future’ strategies of revised devotions and sodalities of the past. That was the response of that time – we must fashion our response to these altogether different times together. The church does of course have a future – Christ promised as much, but he relies on us to shape that future in a way that makes the Gospel both attractive and exciting.
“And nobody pours new wine into old wineskins, if they do so, the wine will burst the skins, and both wine and skins will be lost. No, new wine, new skins". (Mark 2:22)
Work will begin soon to put shape on the ‘Lucan Synod’. We will begin with house meetings throughout the parish at which people will be invited to reflect on and give their views about who we are as a parish, what is our dream for the future and how to begin to realise that dream. So if you receive an invite to such a gathering don’t shrug it off and presume someone else will do it – the invitation is for you. More information will follow.
Fr. Philip Curran