Pastoral Council Minutes

Minutes of the Cathedral Pastoral Council Meeting, Wednesday 5th April 2017


Bill Fox                                                Maire Finan                             Colette Divers

Fina Golden                                      Canon Thomas Hever            Margaret Prior

Dermot Layden                                Donal Lyons                             Grainne Kelly

Pauline Cushman                            Sr. Emma                                  Sr. Elvira

Patricia McCaffrey                         Barry MacMahon                    Patricia Mulligan

Crispin Andaya                               Francis Cadden                        Fr. Declan Boyce

Donal Lyons                                    Vita Forde – Monaghan                                    




Evening Prayer of the Church was led by Sr. Emma.

Minutes of the March PPC meeting were read and adapted on the proposal of Bill Fox and seconded by Colette Divers

Report from Cluster

  • Colette Furlong has drawn up a poster of prayers and ideas to assist families and Children of First Holy Communion to grow in their Faith on the way to First Holy Communion.
  • Niall is developing a Prayer for the Children of Tuam.
  • For the week of volunteering it was suggested that we could have a stand/board erected in the Gilloolly Hall. Parishoners could put posties on the board in what they would be interested in volunteering for. There could be a Mass to celebrate all volunteers who are on the board. It would be a visual. Everyone could see how much volunteering is going on in the Parish.
  • The Cluster will provide a Prayer card for “Gathering of Families” in 2018.


  • Thanks was expressed to all who co-ordinated the Lenten reflections in the Cathedral. It was suggested that Parishoners could be involved more and perhaps to have an emphasis on more music, as Parishoners found the silence too long. Overall there was a positive feedback as it was a believing Community leading a Parish in Prayer and Parishoners were willing to get involved.
  • Parishoners will gather outside for the start of Palm Sunday weather permitting. There will be a new Children’s Choir launched at the 10.30am Mass on Palm Sunday.
  • After the Chrism Mass there will be Tea and Food in the Gilloolly Hall afterwards.
  • On Good Friday a section of the car park will be sectioned off. After Morning Prayer the car park will be closed and re-open for Parishoners attending the Lord’s Passion.
  • Altar of Repose this year will be held in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
  • There will be televised Masses for the Easter Vigil and Easter morning Mass. All Parishoners and families are encouraged to attend these Masses.

Discussion on Kerry Document

  • The Constitution is a present reality of the Parish.
  • Physical conditions – there are some issues in the Cathedral with Sound, in particular the microphones. It was suggested that there could be Training for Ministers of the Word which could possibly take place in September. This would be an action plan from the document that we could implement.
  • Toilets – there is an issue with having just one toilet.
  • Car Park, Heating, Seating are all fine.
  • Sense of Welcome – there is a great sense of welcome when you enter the Cathedral before the 12noon and Sunday Evening Masses.It was suggested to set up a rota for a Welcoming Committee between now and end of June that could welcome Parishoners in the Cathedral for the Saturday Vigil and early Sunday Morning Masses. Members of the PPC have volunteered to be on this committee.

Youth Report

It was the tenth Anniversary of the JP11 Awards and Mass was Celebrated  by Bishop Donal McKeon. The JP11 Awards are on-going in the Schools.

Dermot Layden

Dermot Layden would like to set up a programme for Children and their parents after the Sacraments are received. It would be to build up their faith and to keep them interested on a faith based level in their local Church and Community. It could start at a local level and build it up afterwards. The real target of this programme is the Parents of these Children. Perhaps to bring the Parents of First Holy Communion and Confirmation together and to give these Parents a course on faith. It was suggested that it could be tied in with Elaine Mahon and Barbara Cahill that give talks to the parents of Sacramental Children. It was also suggested that this Programme could be aimed at Parents of Children from Junior Infants to sixth Class. There would be about four lectures. A lot of research and thought would go into these programmes and it could be combined with another programme on Cathechetical instruction on an Adult perspective.


Sympathy was expressed to the family of Betty Comisky who was our Sacristan for over thirty years in the Cathedral. She was such an integral part of the Cathedral and it was so important in her own life. She was sorely missed by Priests and Parishoners alike.

The next PPC meeting will be Wednesday 10th May at 8pm.



__________________                                                                     _______________________

Chairperson                                                                                         Secretary


_________________                                                                       _______________________

Proposed                                                                                               Seconded





Minutes of the Cathedral Pastoral Council, Wednesday 8th February 2017


Sr. Elvira                                              Sr. Emma                                            Crispin Andaya

Maire Finan                                       Anthony Ruddy                                   Bill Fox

Patricia Mulligan                              Ursula Dunphy                                    Canon Thomas Hever

Fina Golden                                      Pauline Cushman                                Barry MacMahon

Francis Cadden                                Margaret Prior                                    Patricia McCaffrey

Fr. Declan Boyce                             Vita Forde – Monaghan


Evening Prayer of the Church was led by Sr. Elvira.

The Minutes of the January Pastoral Council meeting were read and adapted on the proposal of Pauline Cushman and seconded by Francis Cadden.

Parishioners are encouraged to attend Mass that will celebrate 25th World Day of the Sick. The anointing of the sick will take place after the Homily and Gospel. Before the final Blessing at the end of the Mass, there will be a Blessing for those who care for the sick. Bishop Kevin Doran will celebrate the Mass at 10,30am on February 11th in the Cathedral. It is also the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Thanks was expressed to Francis Cadden for the opening words for Catholic Schools Week. Words of thanks was also expressed to the Presentation sisters for the making of St. Brigid’s crosses. All Masses were well attended.

Cluster Report

  • Bishop Kevin Doran has called a meeting of the Priests of the Deanery for 14th February to discuss the frequency of Masses and their Mass times along with other items.
  • The Reconciliation service will be held on Monday 10th April in the Friary at 7.30pm for Lent, led by Fr. Christopher McCrann.
  • In the Friary on 3rd March at 7.30pm World Day of Prayer will take place.
  • There was an in-depth discussion regarding Sligo as the European Capital of Volunteering and how the Churches could become involved as they have collectively 1000 volunteers within the Cluster. A suggestion was made that we could hold an event in the Peace Park in June with Music and Food.
  • A discussion was held on the possibility of having Benediction on Sunday afternoons during Lent.
  • The restarting of Study groups was looked at during Lent and the obtaining of study guides from Dr. Justin Harkin as in previous years.
  • Pope Francis has asked us to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day in the Church.
  • A discussion was held on the “Joy of Love” and the issuing of Texts.
  • Lenten events posters of all planned events will be published.

Colette Furlong has put together a leaflet for First Holy Communion Children that could be interacted with their Parents at home.


Ash Wednesday is taking place on March 1st. All Mass times will be published in the upcoming Bulletin. The Good Friday Gospel will be orated in the Cathedral.

Way of Gentleness

It was discussed at the meeting does the Cathedral need to hold a Way of Gentleness or an alternative during Lent. It was decided that after the Saturday vigil Masses of Lent that we could hold a quiet time of reflection. This will take place from 8.15-8.45pm. It will be called “P.S. I LOVE YOU – LENTEN REFLECTIONS”. It will be a time of reflection and quiet on the Sunday Gospel before the Blessed Sacrament in our Cathedral for every Saturday of Lent. Members of the PPC will facilitate this on the different evenings. An initial meeting will be held on Wednesday 15th February at 7pm in St. Mary’s Presbytery.


The repair work is continuing on the Cathedral. The cost at present is at about €110,000. More painting and lead work has to be completed as well as work on the stairwells. A brochure is being drafted on this repair work that could be informative for our Parishioners. The Parish will send out a letter at three different intervals throughout the year where Parishioners could contribute to this extensive repair work on the Cathedral.

P.J. Keane is organising a fundraising event in the Gillooly Hall on Friday 24th February that will assist with the repair work. It will be a variety of local talent with spot prizes. Parishioners are encouraged to attend.

Youth Report

Frank McGuinness is organising a Camino De Santiago to Spain between June 20th to 28th. It will be a great experience and all Youth from the Parish are encouraged to attend.

Child Protection

There are new vetting procedures coming into law regarding Child Protection. This will take up a lot of time and paperwork. Thanks were been expressed to Nuala Campbell-Dineen and Maura Garvey on their committed work on vetting and Child Protection.

Correspondence from Justin Harkin

There was correspondence from Justin Harkin in relation to Pastoral Councils and the role they pay within the Church. Some of the issues were

  • Constitution of the Church and the PPC
  • Pastoral Council Prayer resources.
  • Discussions – documents on the Kerry Diocese that could be relevant to us.
  • Lenten/Advent Scripture Sharing Groups.


Sympathy was expressed to Fr. Gerard Canon on the recent death of his mother.

Sympathy was also expressed to Fr. McManus who was a former curate in our Parish on the recent death of his sister.

Bishop Kevin Doran will hold a presentation on February 22nd between 7.30pm to 8.45pm on “Praying with the Psalms” in Summerhill College Library. Parishioners are encouraged to attend.

There will be a meeting with Justin Harkin themed “Building us up as PPC’S” in the Sligo Park Hotel on 23rd February between 8pm to 9.30pm. All members of the PPC are encouraged to attend.

There will be an Annual Deanery meeting on May 23rd with Frank McGuinness and Justin Harkin between 8pm to 9.30pm in Summerhill College.

The Annual Renewal Gathering will be happening in Boyle on October 7th. There are now PPC development Awards for such categories as good practice, PPC of the year, Chairperson of the year. We will discuss this again at the April PPC meeting and what are thoughts may be on this issue.

There is a new book published called “The Land of Saints and Scholars” which is a history of the Catholic Church in Ireland. It is designed to appeal to younger people and Children. It is told in full colour picture format. It was envisaged that we could donate these books to the different Primary Schools in the Parish for the Confirmation Classes. Perhaps a competition could be run and children could win a book. Members of the PPC will contribute to the cost of these books.

The next Pastoral Council Meeting will be held on Wednesday 8th March at 8pm.


___________________                                                                    _____________________

Chairperson                                                                                         Secretary


___________________                                                                  ______________________

Proposed                                                                                            Seconded





Minutes of the Cathedral Pastoral Council Meeting, Wednesday 11th January 2017


Bill Fox                                   Pauline Cushman                                  John Martin

Francis Cadden                    Grainne Kelly                                         Patricia McCaffrey

Barry MacMahon                Fina Golden                                           Donal Lyons

Canon Thomas Hever        Crispin Andaya                                      Margaret Prior

Fr. Declan Boyce                Colette Divers                                        Vita Forde – Monaghan


Maire Finan


Evening Prayer of the Church was led by Canon Tom Hever.

The Minutes of the December Pastoral Council were read and adapted on the proposal of Francis Cadden and seconded by Bill Fox.

Cluster Report

Christian Unity week is happening on Wednesday 25th January. The theme of the week is “Crossing Barriers”. Dean Arfon Williams invites parishioners to join his community on 25th January at 8pm in St. John’s Church of Ireland, Cathedral. The preacher will be Pastor Steffan Arras of the Lutherian Church in Ireland

Upcoming events in the Cluster are:

  • Bible for Beginners commencing on January 3oth.
  • Catholic Schools Week 29th January to 4th February
  • World Day of Sick – February 11th

There will be a celebration to mark Catholic Schools Week at the 12 noon Mass on Sunday 29TH January. It gives us all the opportunity to be made more aware of the contribution that Catholic Schools contribute to our community and country. This year’s theme is “Learning with Pope Francis to care for our common home”. There will be different topics or themes for every day of Catholic Schools Week. Francis Cadden will welcome the Schools and their students to Mass on 29th January on behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council.

Christmas Review

All the Christmas Masses and celebrations were full in the Cathedral, though the Peace Mass fell this year in numbers. The Reconciliation service was very well attended in the Friary. Parishioners felt that there was a nice structure to the service. Canon Tom expressed thanks to the Altar Society, Crib Builders, Choir- Carol service, Sacristans, Ushers and Collectors, and Altar services for all their help over the Christmas period.

Thanks were expressed to Margaret Prior and those involved in the Baptismal celebration that happened on January 8th at 10.30am Mass where families were invited back to the Cathedral whose children were baptised in the year. It was suggested that family members could partake in readings. It was lovely how Canon Tom invited Children to walk around the Cathedral and that the Cathedral was made to feel like home. Families that came felt part of a family. One third of families came back for the celebration. A prayer card was given to these families. It was suggested that next year we could have a leaflet with the Baptismal of the Lord and names of the Children who are baptised in the Cathedral over the year on the leaflet. It was also suggested that it would be great if the Baptismal Candle could be incorporated into ceremony.

Mass Times

It was suggested, do we change the time of the Saturday vigil Mass in the Cathedral?  There are a variety of Masses in the Cluster that parishioners can choose from over the weekend. Do we ask Parishioners? It was suggested that we ask around to family members and friends their opinion. This will be discussed again at a later stage.

Upcoming Celebrations

St. Brigid’s Day

St. Brigid’s Day is happening on February 1st. Mass will be celebrated at 10.30am. The Presentation Sisters are making St. Brigid’s crosses. Parishioners wishing to help them and learn a new skill can contact the Sisters.

Consecrated Life

Consecrated life is happening on February 2nd. The Presentation of the Lord Mass to celebrate World day for Consecrated Life will be on Thursday 2nd February at 10.30am.

World Day of the Sick

The 25th World Day of the sick will be celebrated on Saturday 11th February at 10.30am Mass. The theme this year is “Amazement at what God has accomplished: The Almighty has done great things for me…” (Lk 1:49). Pope Francis in his message this year wants to especially focus on the sick and all who care for them. Anointing of the sick will take place during the 10.30am Mass and a Blessing for all who take care of them.

Youth Report

In the I.T., there is a consensus over coming months, and set up for the academic year, that there will be an event to meet Students who were involved in JP11 Awards. They hope to set up a database and upload JP11 students on this from around the country. This could tap into Youth 2000. It could provide a framework being involved in I.T.


Child Protection

There was a meeting on JP11 co-ordinators in Maynooth. There is now a huge section on forms that will have to be completed. Everyone that has been vetted will have to be updated.


There is a brochure being sent out to Parishioners on the repair work that is happening in the Cathedral. This will be sent out with the Finance letter. There may be a contribution sought from Parishioners to assist with this repair work, which hopefully the initial stage of the work will be finished at the end of this month.

The next Parish Pastoral Council Meeting will be on Wednesday 8th February at 8pm.



_____________________                                                                         ________________________

Chairperson                                                                                                     Secretary


_____________________                                                                        _________________________

Proposed                                                                                                          Seconded




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