Pastoral Council Minutes






Fr. Declan Boyce                    Fr. Glenn Alipoyo                   Deacon John Mahony

Sr. Elvira                                 Maire Finan                             Pauline Cushman

Francis Cadden                       Margaret Prior                         Crispin Andaya

Dermot Layden                       Donal Lyons



Fr. Victor Samugana               Ronan Hegarty                        Grainne Kelly


  1. The Minutes were read, and proposed by Margaret Prior and seconded by Maire Finan.


  1. Matters Arising:

The post of Caretaker of the Gillooly Hall has been filled.

Reflection around the Crib was poorly attended; Fr. Declan wondered if there is any point in having projects for Advent? It was decided that preparation should start in October and the date and time of the Reflection should be printed on the slip of paper containing the Crib Character which people can take in preparation.

Cathedral Clean-up: Traditional methods of advertising like the Newsletter and Announcements don’t work: a better response was achieved by inviting the various groups of the Parish; but the invitation must state ‘for you and your group’.

Catholic Schools Week: There was a poor attendance by the Boards of Management at the tea at the end; the venue may be changed to the Upper Room in the Cathedral to avoid having to cross the road to the Gillooly Hall.

Feast of the Presentation: the tea was well-attended and the Sisters of the Presentation were thanked for all their hard work.


  1. Report from Cluster:

St. Anne’s Alpha Programme concluded, and will be re-launched in 2 years. Anniversary Celebrations are on-going at St Patrick’s Church, Strandhill, involving the school, a commemorative tile, launch of a Prayer Group, postcards, and burial of a Time Capsule behind the altar.

Colette Furlong reported on the usefulness of the Momentum Conference with helpful workshops on Fear, Identity and Pain. The ‘New Wine’ activity and the Festival of Faith were discussed.

12/02/20:  Blessing of the New Part of Sligo Cemetery

13/02/20:  Dementia Choir launched

03/03/20:  Next Cluster Meeting

19/03/20:  First Confessions in the Cathedral

02/04/20:  First Confessions in St. Anne’s

06/04/20:  Reconciliation Service in the Friary


Following this Cluster Report, there was a discussion on people suffering from Dementia, and the beneficial effect of music.


  1. Lent:

26/02/20:  the Hunger Lunch will again be sponsored by O’Hehir’s; attendance is dropping.

28/02/20:  commencement of the Stations of the Cross for Busy People, from 6pm to 6.15pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1 P.P.C. member to lead each evening:

Rota for the Stations: Monday – Margaret Prior

                                         Wednesday – Sr. Elvira

                                         Friday – Francis Cadden – START WITH THE ANGELUS.


The routine Stations will be held as usual after 10.30am Mass on every Friday.


Dermot Layden, Dr. Francis Cousins, Fr. Matthew and Fr. Pat Lombard urge attendance at the Scripture-Sharing Groups on 6 Thursdays from 7.30pm to 8.45pm during Lent from 27/02/20 to 02/04/20. The venue has not yet been finalised. Carraroe, St. Joseph’s / Calry, the Friary, Strandhill and Rosses Point Parishes.


  1. Lough Derg Experience:

Instead of an all-night event, this will be held from Monday to Friday, from 11am to 2pm and from 6pm to 8pm. It will start on 30/03/20 to facilitate schools before the Easter break – the schools will be invited for 1 morning.

The Blessed Sacrament will not be exposed this year. Background music will help us experience the Lough Derg Stations.


  1. Gathering of Apostolic Bodies:

09/05/20 – Justin Harkin advises to make it a celebration of our Parish rather than an examination of the Parish. The P.P.C. members will be required from 9am to 2pm; Fr. Declan and Justin will decide the programme. It entails a 10-15 minute presentation by each Parish Group, so all can learn what each body does, with bonding and learning over the subsequent dinner.


  1. Environment:

Work is progressing slowly. Aluminium vs plastic bases for votive candles – Fr Declan is concerned at the flimsiness of the light aluminium with regard to possible burns to people from hot wax. Also, the site of manufacture needs to be researched.


  1. Dermot Layden urged all to google “Catechism with Fr. Neil”, with the Apple podcast recommended by Justin Harkin.


  1. Child Protection:

Fr. Declan is to invite the Officers to give their report at a P.P.C. Meeting.


  1. Dates for Diary:

19/03/20 – First Confession: defer giving the gift to the children to Easter Sunday 10.30am Mass, which they now have to attend, and when parents are present. It will be a gift suitable for all.

28/03/20 – Mother’s Day: at the next P.P.C. meeting a rota for distribution of the gift to mothers will be drawn up.


  1. A.O.B.:

Margaret Prior requested a vote on enquiring from the H.S.E. re continuation of the Sign of Peace at Mass, in view of the Corona Virus spread. However, the most important thing is frequent hand washing. The topic will be on the Agenda of the next meeting.


  1. Next Meeting: 12/03/20.


____________________________________            _________________________________

Pauline Cushman, Acting Secretary                               Francis Cadden, Acting Chairperson.





12th December 2019



Fr. Declan Boyce        Fr. Victor Samugana               Fr. Glenn Alipo

Margaret Prior             Grainne Kelly                          Deacon John Mahony

Maire Finan                 Dermot Layden                       Pauline Cushman

Ronan Hegarty            Francis Cadden                       Sr. Elvira Rosel



Crispin Andaya           Donal Lyons


  1. The Minutes of the previous meeting of 14/11/19 were read, proposed by Francis Cadden and seconded by Pauline Cushman.


  1. Matters Arising:

Date of reflection around the Crib corrected to 13/12/19.


  1. Report from Cluster:

The Alpha Programme is going well in St Anne’s parish;

Discussion of the Bishop’s Document on Funerals to be represented locally by Fr. Michael Drumm;

The 2020 Festival of Faith to be carried forward;

Momentum Conference on 17/1/20 to 19/01/20, an Alpha course for young people, Colette Furlong will attend and report back;

Fr. Hugh McGonigle’s mother died on 2nd December, may she rest in peace.


  1. Diary Dates:

Christmas diary date change, as above Crib reflection on 13/12/19. There may be tea duties for Catholic Schools Week, around Sunday 26th January 2020.


  1. Gathering of Parish Apostolic Bodies:

Proposed date is Saturday 9th May 2020.


  1. Environment:

A thank you is to be sent to sponsors of Mission. Margaret Prior is to be P.P.C. Environmental Representative and will report on suggested ideas at the February P.P.C. Meeting.


  1. Child Protection:

A national audit of the diocese is to take place soon.


  1. A.O.B.:

There is a current vacancy for part-time caretaker of the Gilhooly Hall approx. 5-6hours per week.


Fr. Declan, Francis and Ronan will meet on the First Friday of February, 07/02/20, to set the Agenda, and the NEXT P.P.C. MEETING WILL BE ON 13/02/20 AT 8PM.



________________________________        ___________________________________

Ronan Hegarty, Secretary                               Grainne Kelly, Chairperson





14th November 2019


Fr Declan Boyce         Fr Victor Samugana                Fr Glenn Alipoyo

Margaret Prior             Grainne Kelly                          Deacon John Mahony

Maire Finan                 Dermot Layden                       Pauline Cushman

Crispin Andaya


Sr Elvira                      Francie Cadden                       Ronan Hegarty                        Donal Lyons


  1. The Minutes of the previous meeting of 10/10/19 were read, proposed by Dermot Layden and seconded by Maire Finan.


  1. Matters Arising:

The document on preservation of the bees is to be circulated by Pauline Cushman.


  1. Report from Cluster:

New Officers: Chairperson-Grainne Cawley, Secretary-John McGovern, Priest Coordinator-Fr Jim Murray.

The Alpha Programme is going well as is the Secondary Schools Outreach; Discussion of the Bishop’s Document on Funerals was deferred; The 2020 Festival of Faith involves outlying parishes; there should be two members of the Cluster from each PPC; the Strandhill Centenary programme is on-going; a hymn has been composed by Kieran Quinn; the Catechist Colette Furlong’s report was given – she thinks the ‘Grow in Love’ programme is excellent; it has not yet been decided when the new part of Sligo Cemetery will be blessed; the Advent Reconciliation Service, led by St. Joseph’s Parish, will occur on 17/12/19 at 7.30pm; the PDR (parish development and renewal) meeting was on 9/11/19; a What’sapp facility / text group is to be commenced for phone numbers of individuals / Apostolic Bodies / Parish Associations; the Franciscan Friars live on John St. and rely on donations of food and wine but not money – it is their third year here; Colette Furlong is compiling a list of Masses for tourists in hotels.


  1. Diary Dates:

1/12/19: Identities given out for Reflection around the Crib-under-construction;

7/12/19: Christmas Fayre, Cathedral;

14/12/19: Reflection at the Crib-under-construction;

9/12/19: Clergy annual dinner;

12/12/19: PPC;

17/12/19: Friary Reconciliation Service;

20/12/19: Cathedral Clean-up;

21/12/19: Cathedral Confessions with 2 priests;

22/12/19: Cathedral Carol Service;

24/12/19: Cathedral Confessions 2-5pm (in the Cathedral Parish, Christmas is a bigger time for Confessions than Easter);

24/12/19: Christmas Vigil Mass 10pm;       

31/12/19: New Year Vigil Mass 11.30pm;

1/1/20: Peace Mass 11am, followed by refreshments.

Reflection at the empty Crib-under-construction on 14/12/19:     on 1/12/19, pieces of paper, each containing a name of a character from the Crib, human and animal, will be given out from the Altar by the PPC, one to each person, so they can reflect on and journey with, the identity they receive, reinforced on 14/12/19 when gathered around the Crib under construction. The devotion invites a commitment to contemplate the place of each person’s given character in the Christmas story.

Rota for Distribution of Names on the weekend of 30/11-1/12/19:

            7.30pm Vigil: Mgt Prior, Donal Lyons, Francie Cadden

            8.30am Sun:   Grainne Kelly, Sister Elvira

            10.30am Sun: Francie Cadden, Mgt Prior, Grainne Kelly

            12pm Sun:      Maire Finan, Pauline Cushman

            7pm Sun:        Ronan Hegarty, Crispin Andaya, Donal Lyons.


  1. Gathering of Parish Apostolic Bodies:

Justin Harkin, Diocesan Catechist, to attend as special guest. The purpose is for better communication and coordination. Three people from each body will be invited to an assembly next year, with 3 leading questions to share with each other, to explain the details of each group. It will be a celebration, followed by a shared lunch, in the Gillooly Hall, hosted by the Cathedral P.P.C., for 20 selected groups. Groups comprised of different nationalities will also be invited. We can discuss our roles and how we are trying to reach out. MAIN THEME: getting to know each other.

This will be carried forward to the December P.P.C. Agenda.


  1. Environment:

Margaret Prior is to be P.P.C. Environmental Representative, responsible for a stand at the back of the Cathedral, like the Vocations stand. This will be discussed further at the December P.P.C. Meeting.


  1. Child Protection:

On 26/11/19, there will be a Reps meeting, with a subsequent visit to the PPC.


  1. AOB:

PDR Meeting Report: Maire Finan told us that the Bishop affirmed that the Laity have a right to be involved and need to be so. The home is key for formation and for vocations, and needs to contain forgiveness, a prayer area, an altar, religious objects / pictures, prayers as a natural part of life, holy water, kindness. There must be liaison between the home, the church and the school. The role of materialism in career choice was discussed, and the parental response if a child wishes to become a priest or nun. Should there be parish secretaries or lay managers – both are needed. In response to the shortage of priests, the consensus was to combine parishes and decrease services, but not to close churches, to which people are very attached.

Pauline Cushman wondered why the prior discussion document on vocations circulated to us made reference to life for the Holy Family “in the world of Palestine in the First Century”: the Bible tells us Jesus came from the land of Israel.

Congratulations to Dermot Layden, on the recent publication of his new book “Helping Us to Live Life Without Regrets” which can be read free Online, and many thanks to him for his continuous work on Evangelization.

Cathedral Refurbishment: In 4-6 weeks, construction will commence on a second toilet, paid for by the Christmas Fayre.

Stalls are welcome to participate in the Christmas Fayre, and P.P.C. Volunteers are needed to help at the Fayre.


Fr. Declan, Grainne and Ronan will meet on the next First Friday to set the Agenda, and the NEXT P.P.C. MEETING WILL BE ON 12/12/19 AT 8PM.



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Pauline Cushman, PP Ronan Hegarty            Grainne Kelly, Chairperson.