Pastoral Council Minutes




10th October 2019


Fr. Declan Boyce                    Fr. Victor Samugana                           Fr. Glenn Alipoyo

Francis Cadden                       Ronan Hegarty                                    Donal Lyons

Margaret Prior                         Grainne Kelly                                      Deacon John Mahony

Maire Finan                             Dermot Layden                                   Pauline Cushman

Colette Furlong


Apologies:                              Sr. Elvira                                             Crispin Andaya


  1. The Minutes of the previous meeting of 12/09/19 were read, proposed by Donal Lyons and seconded by Fr. Victor.


  1. Matters Arising:

There was no interview of Dermot Layden regarding the Mission after all.  Engineers are coming to examine the Cathedral sound system next week.  The Johnny Cash Concert in St Anne’s attracted a crowd of 120.


  1. Report from Cluster: The following were discussed:

The Johnny Cash Concert;      heavy rain accompanied the Youth Pilgrimage;         the Festival of Faith;   TG4 visited the Holy Well and it will be portrayed positively;          Colette Furlong facilitated the baptism of three young children;  the Consultation Document on Funerals;       not all parishes are represented in the Cluster;     

NEW OFFICERS:    Chairperson: Grainne Kelly; Secretary: John McGovern; Designated Priest: Fr. Jim Murray.


  1. Consultation Document on Celebrating a Funeral in the Diocese of Elphin:

Fr Declan affirmed that its purpose is supporting the laity in taking charge on the day prior to the Funeral Mass, with a Lay Minister leading the Prayers in the presence of the Remains. This was discussed and the consensus was that it is inevitable due to the shortage of priests, but that a sensitive transition is needed, providing families with a gentle introduction to the change. A protocol would be helpful to bring people to this new place. Colette Furlong, Catechist, said that it is common practice in Dublin now, despite initial difficult in people being receptive to female lay ministers.

Fr. Declan and Fr. Victor stressed that it is common practice in other countries, and most importantly that it would have to apply to everyone or no-one. The greatest difficulty would be with a priest feeling he should attend for some people.

It was affirmed that the choice of cremation or burial is personal preference – the problem is what to do with the ashes? Church preference is for them to be buried.


  1. Evaluation of the past year for the PPC, facilitated by Colette Furlong:

Various self-evaluation pages were provided. It was unanimously decided that we have remained faithful to our Mission Statement;      fostering of our relationship with our diocese, local deanery and neighbouring parishes was done via the Cluster;        we could do better in relating to other Christian churches;         our recent Mission on Care of the Environment fulfilled our duties toward the Civic Community, the local environment / ecology and the Parish. Other evaluation pages will be completed at home individually.


  1. Evaluation of our recent Mission on Care / Protection of the Environment:

Fr. Declan explained that the Church, the PPC, plant seeds in people’s minds – and the impact on people is unknown, and potentially massive. The Mission was proposed by Margaret Prior, supported by Fr. Declan and inspired by Laudato Si. The objective was to attract non-practising people – seeds were sown. It was a learning experience. The small numbers attending on some nights and at the workshops was disheartening but there is no way of knowing the impact of people being aware that it was being done. Deacon John disseminated it to many abroad with very positive feedback.


  1. The Environment will be added to the PPC Agenda for the next 12 months.


  1. A.O.B.:

The document on protection of and care for bees, ‘Faith Communities – Actions to help Pollinators’ published by the National Biodiversity Data Centre and will be extended to all the PPC members – only 4 copies had been provided – at the suggestion of Pauline.

Ronan warned that the battery light of the defibrillator is not flashing.

The PDR (Parish Development and Renewal) Meeting will be on 9th November in Boyle.

Volunteers are needed for preparing and serving tea in the Gillooly Hall after Mass on All Souls Day, 2nd November.



Chairperson: Grainne Kelly            Secretary: Ronan Hegarty.


  1. Next Meeting: Thursday 14th November 2019 in St Mary’s.




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Pauline Cushman, Outgoing Secretary                   Francis Cadden, Outgoing Chairperson.





12th September 2019


Fr Declan Boyce                                Fr Victor Samugana                         Fr Glenn Alipoyo

Francie Cadden                                 Sr Elvira Rosel                                    Pauline Cushman

Grainne Kelly                                     Donal Lyons                                        Dermot Leydon

Margaret Prior



Maire Finan                                        Ronan Hegarty                                  Crispin Andaya


  1. The Minutes were read, proposed by Grainne Kelly, and seconded by Sr Elvira.
  2. Bishop Kevin’s Letter re Draft PPC Constitution: It was felt that our PPC is working well and the proposals are little different to our PPC.

A vote was held on whether duration of membership should be 3 to 6 years or 4 to 8 years:

The result was 50/50 with one abstention.

It was felt that the proposals are very idealistic and not actually practical, e.g. the last paragraph under ‘Membership’ regarding composition.

Discernment of Membership needs to be reviewed. 

In response to a question by the Secretary, the consensus was that the composition of our Minutes is satisfactory and shouldn’t be shortened.

A summary of the key points already goes into the Parish Sunday Bulletin.

It was agreed that the December meeting is important and shouldn’t be deleted – but perhaps the January meeting could be removed instead.

Regarding ‘General Functioning’ on page 3, Fr Declan felt Canon 536.2 (The PPC role is consultative and advisory) needs to be elaborated on.

As requested, these suggestions and comments will be forwarded to Bishop Kevin via Justin Harkin.


  1. Mission: For the refreshments, delph cups would be preferable to compostable ones, considering the ethos of the Mission (Protection of the Environment).  Since delph cups are available internally, donations of confectionery would be very much appreciated instead.





A Rota was decided on for recitation of the Mission Prayer, an Introduction, and Thanks at the conclusion of each talk:

Night 1:                                Francie Cadden

                                Night 2:                                Grainne Kelly

Night 3:                                Fr Declan

                Night 4:                                Donal Lyons

                Night 5:                                Pauline Cushman

                Night 6:                                Margaret Prior and Fr Declan.


The Mission Prayer is to be left on all pews at Masses.

Regarding advertising, Niall Delaney on OceanFM is interviewing Dermot Leydon next week.

Teas each night will be from 8.30 to 9.30pm and Sr Elvira agreed to organise a nightly team for same.   Fr Declan noted that additional essential supplies will be provided:  2 boilers, 6 kettles, extension leads, cloths and tea towels, and cups and Margaret Prior is to organise the cups.

A counter should be along the side of the Hall, and if stuck for room, tables should be omitted and teas served from the kitchen.  The Balcony of the Gillooly Hall will hold an additional 50 people.  St Mary’s will supply the tea and biscuits and OHehirs Bakery hopefully will supply the pastries.

Brid Curran, Chief Usher, will be asked to organise a team to collect the Retiring Collection after Liam Lawton’s Concert on night 1 – with 2 people at each side door, 4 at the back and 4 in the middle (12 altogether).  A dedicated, printed envelope will be left on each seat for donations.  Also, an acknowledgment of sponsors will be printed.

On the first, Concert, night, stewards will direct people to the toilets in the Gillooly Hall, NOT the Sacristy, and signage will facilitate this.  The Gillooly Hall is open daily 9 to 5.

On the first night, Stewards will be in attendance from 6.30pm. 

In the case that a Funeral occurs Sunday night, removal of the Remains will be deferred to Monday morning.


  1. Report from Cluster:

The Mother Teresa Novena attracted a small crowd, again, but was very nice.

Corpus Christi:  wet weather meant the Procession was indoors, in the Cathedral.

It was also wet for the Social Services Day.

Garland Sunday at the Holy Well was very pleasant. 

There were 80 couples plus relations for the Marriage Jubilee Celebration, followed by a meal in the Sligo Park Hotel.

The Alpha Programme will be launched with a Johnny Cash Night on 4/10/19 in St Anne’s Church.

Sacramental Preparation was discussed and each school is to organise their own launch for Holy Communion and Confirmation preparation.

The Secondary Schools Visitation was discussed.

There will be a Youth Pilgrimage from Strandhill Church to Knocknarea, as part of the John Paul II Awards Group on 5/10/19 at 12 noon and all are welcome.

Congratulations were offered to Fr Michael Deignan on his appointment as Bishop of Clonfert.

A Festival of Faith was discussed.

Best wishes were conveyed to Fr Yashin on his departure for Riverstown, and to Fr Glenn on his arrival in the Cathedral.


  1. Child Protection: There was nothing new to report.
  2. Clerical Changes: Fr Yashin’s great work in the Parish over the past two years, and in particular his excellent and inspiring homilies and lovely personality were appreciated, as he departs to take up duties in Riverstown.

We are delighted to welcome Fr Glenn, who replaces him, and hope he will be very happy in the Cathedral.

  1. AOB:                     The speakers on the Altar, especially at the Ambo, are only projecting forwards and it is hard to hear if one is behind the pulpit on the Altar, although it is okay if one is in the seating behind the Altar.
  2. Next Meeting: Thursday October 10, 2019.  The meeting will include Catechist Colette Furlong for the Annual Renewal of the PPC and election of Officers.

It has been my greatest pleasure to act as Secretary to the PPC for the past 2 years – thank you for the Privilege and Support and Companionship/Friendship!


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Pauline Cushman, Secretary                                                       Francis Cadden, Chairperson.






13th June 2019


Fr Declan Boyce                                Fr Victor Samugana                         Sr Carmelita Vallecera

Francie Cadden                                 Sr Elvira Rosel

Crispin Andaya                                  Maire Finan                                        Pauline Cushman

Grainne Kelly                                     Donal Lyons                                        Dermot Layden



Fr Yashin Jos                                       Ronan Hegarty                                  Margaret Prior


  1. The Minutes of the previous meeting of 09/05/19 were read, proposed by Grainne Kelly and seconded by Maire Finan.
  2. Matters Arising: a.) Trocaire Clothes Collection: The Recycling Company involved left some bags, which Fr Declan will deal with over the summer. b.) Cathedral Clean-up: Francie Cadden noted that there are 150 people involved in ministries in the Parish and he proposed that the Easter Clean-up should be billed as being ‘in preparation for First Holy Communions and Confirmations’ so as to involve more of them. Maire Finan proposed sending invitations to the groups in the Cathedral.
  1. Cluster Report:

Corpus Christi:           23/06/19 – the theme for the children will be the Environment.

Scarden Cemetery Mass:      30/06/19.

Garland Sunday:        28/07/19 – there will be a bus for the return journey.

Sligo Social Services Family Event:  this was a great success.

Safeguarding Issues:  a follow-up letter after the John Paul II Award students’  work experience was discussed.

Lough Derg Pilgrimage:         this is expensive at €45, and €20 for the bus – next year the Cluster will subsidise the bus.

Sligo Cemetery Mass:                        Fr Declan felt that organization of this event needs to change and be organized by the priests of the three Sligo parishes rather than the Cluster.  It is better for people to stand at their graves with a supply of water which will be blessed so they can bless their own graves.  The date should be known from the previous year, and proper speakers would help.  Also, it needn’t be centred around the Eucharist.

  1. Report from the Mission Sub-Committee: Good progress has been made but has been hindered by a lack of response from the relevant department in the IT; all the other speakers are on board.  The Saturday Workshop has been set up, and the poster is finalized and very striking.  All will be ready to go to print by the next meeting on 20/06/19.  The meeting of Margaret Prior and Pauline Cushman with the County Manager was very positive:  he is very interested and pledged a sum of money as yet unknown – he will be unable to provide the €5,000 we asked for but will do his best.  He also provided the names of relevant people in the County Council who will provide a stall at the Workshop, literature and education  .  There will be an on-going stall in the Cathedral, with contents up-dated by someone from the Sub-committee, and also a post-Mission review.
  2. A.O.B.: Fr Declan reported that the Child Safety Officer is very happy with Cathedral procedures; they recommended keeping Child Safety on the PPC Agenda, and once or twice per year getting the Child Safety Officers to report on what they are doing.

The Data Protection Officer feels the Cathedral is up to speed and is pleased with computer access parameters:  if the Gardaí want to see CCTV footage, they must have a letter from the Inspector.  The PPC members, Finance Committee and those who distribute the parish envelopes must sign a confidentiality letter.

Regarding Garda Vetting, Fr Declan discussed how long data should be kept, and by whom.

Sister Carmelita is returning to the Philippines!  Everyone was very sorry to hear this and thanked her for her wonderful work here. Her date of departure is as yet unknown.

  1. Next Meeting of the PPC: Thursday, 12/09/19 at 8pm, in St Mary’s.




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Pauline Cushman, Secretary                                    Francie Cadden, Chairperson.