Pastoral Council Minutes


MINUTES OF MEETING on 14th February 2019



Fr. Declan Boyce                     Fr. Victor Samugana               Fr. Yashin Jos

Sr. Elvira M Rosel                   Francis Cadden                       Donal Lyons

Margaret Prior                       Dermot Layden                       Pauline Cushman



Ronan Hegarty                        Maire Finan                            Crispin Andaya

Grainne Kelly


  1. The Minutes of the previous meeting of 10/01/19 were read, proposed by Margaret Prior and seconded by Donal Lyons. Two corrections were made:  Catechism Beyond Reasonable Doubt should have read Catholicism Beyond Reasonable Doubt; and it is the Missionary Sisters of Charity, not the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, who individually meditate on a Persona chosen from the Advent story.
  2. Youth Ministry Leadership Training Course;

Vita Forde-Monaghan is very excited to have been invited to do this course.

The PPC letter has been sent to Deacon Frank McGuinness, regarding deferral of this course until the Community Catechists are in situ.

  1. Mission:

The Mission Sub-committee reported that the site may be the Gillooly Hall for most of the Mission as it favours the social aspect of tea and conversation following each session, and it has the technology.  A seven-day structure has been put in place, and efforts are on-going to decide on and recruit keynote speakers.

The consensus of opinion was that it should start on Monday 23/09/19, concluding on Sunday 29/09/19 with a Mass of Celebration offered by Bishop Kevin.

As previously noted, the topic is Care of the Environment, and Fr Declan commented that one should go for a walk, look down, and see the quantity of Unrecyclable litter.

  1. Report from Cluster:

The meeting was held on 05/02/19, and John McGowan is Chair until the Autumn.

The closure of Veritas was considered.

Thanks to Colette (Coordinator) and Bishop Kevin (Homilist), for presenting the Service of Prayer for Christian Unity in St John’s Cathedral.

The 50th Anniversary of Sligo Social Services occurs this year.

There was a report on Adult Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion.

Sympathy was expressed to the family of Kellie Leonard, a Teacher in Summerhill College, on her recent sudden death.  May she rest in peace.

Sacramentalisation of Civil Marriages has been deferred to 2020.

There was an update on the Community Catechists Programme.

  1. Lent/Easter Review:

Ash Wednesday: 06/03/19Mass at 8am, 10.30am, 1.05pm, & 7pm and Hunger Lunch in aid of Trocaire, Gillooly Hall 11am to 2pm.

Weekday Masses 8am & 10.30am.

Stations of the Cross every Friday after 10.30am Mass.

First Friday 05/04/19 St Patrick’s Purgatory ALL NIGHT VIGIL 7pm Friday to 9am Saturday.

Sacrament of Reconciliation ALL THROUGH LENT Every Saturday 2 – 4pm & before all First Friday Masses.

Sligo Cathedral CLOTHING COLLECTION in aid of Trocaire, all through Lent.


The STATIONS OF THE CROSS FOR BUSY PEOPLE will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent, from 6 to 6.15pm.

For this, Francie and Dermot are to construct a rota of Leaders, including non-PPC members, and coordinate it.

The Text will be available at the First Station, and a Youth Text will also be made available.

Fr Declan and Colette Furlong are adding another perspective – that of residents of Nursing Homes.

Also, there will be a new Devotion, enabling people to randomly choose a Persona from the Lenten story and journey with that character throughout Lent.


  1. Altar Society: A new President is being recruited due to the retirement of the current President, who did a wonderful job.
  2. Kingsbridge Hospital Chapel De-consecration: This took place on 11/02/19 and a small Prayer Room was substituted.
  3. Cathedral Baptismal Candle: Due to the recent closure of Veritas Bookshop, the Cathedral is producing its own Baptismal Candle.
  4. Old Testament Presentations: The PPC and Knights of Columbanus are collaborating on the presentation of a set of Videos on the Old Testament, on Lenten Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting on 12/03/19 at 7.30pm in Columbanus House, Church Hill, Sligo (next to St Michael’s Family Life Centre). The final session will be on 11/04/19.
  5. AOB: Dermot suggested Parishioners be invited to submit suggestions for possible initiatives for the PPC to pursue – this is to be deferred to May, and we will examine the suggestions during the summer holidays.

A programme called ‘Letting Little Children Come to Me’ is to be offered as a resource to those leading the Children’s Liturgy, on 23/03/19.

It is good to see that following on from the PPC theme of the Busy People’s Stations of the Cross, the ‘busy’ idea has rippled out to other Parishes.

The Mother and Baby Group has started, with two mothers.

  1. Next Meeting: Thursday, 14/03/19 at 8pm in St Mary’s.


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Pauline Cushman, Secretary                                       Francie Cadden, Chairperson


Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council of the

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo

10th January, 2019



Fr Declan Boyce                                  Maire Finan                            Dermot Layden

Margaret Prior                                   Grainne Kelly                          Pauline Cushman

Francie Cadden                                   Donal Lyons                             Ronan Hegarty

Crispin Andaya



Fr Yashin Jos                                        Fr Victor Samugana                Sr Elvira


  1. The Minutes of the previous meeting of 13/12/18 were read, proposed by Grainne Kelly and seconded by Maire Finan.
  2. Matters Arising – there were none.
  3. Advent/Christmas Review:

It was a very busy, successful Advent for the Cluster with many Devotions available, so only Dermot Layden’s Course in the Sacristy on Catechism Beyond Reasonable Doubt was put on by the Cathedral.

The Blessing of the Infant Jesus for Christmas Cribs at all Masses on Sunday 23/12/18 was purposely planned not to coincide with the Do This in Memory of Me Meeting, to encourage attendance.

The Carol Service as is traditional, had a large congregation swelled by people returning home for Christmas.  It was promoted on social media, Facebook.

There was an even bigger congregation at the 10pm Vigil Mass; also the 12pm Midday Mass had a larger attendance than in previous years.

The number attending Mass on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day likewise have grown.


Mass at Christmas is about family, the Crib is a big attraction, and the 6.30pm Christmas Eve Mass for kids at St Anne’s was crowded.


Fr Declan’s Sermon on Christmas day dealt with the different personalities/beings in the Crib, inviting us to consider ‘Who am I in the Crib?’  Similarly, at the start of Advent, each Sister of the Presentation of Mary randomly chooses a character from the Crib and imagines herself as that persona during the Advent journey.  It is proposed that next Advent we try this, providing a basket from which people can randomly choose the name of a different character to empathise with during Advent.  An evening would follow this ‘lucky dip’ to elaborate on the different personae.  We will revisit this idea in Sept/Oct.


The figures in the Cathedral Crib, which are over 200 years old, were re-painted.


  1. Youth Ministry Leadership Training Course:

It was decided to write to the organisers to defer this for another year, until the Community Catechists are in situ, as they could foster aspirants to this course.  In Fr Declan’s words, ‘It’s a great idea, but too soon’.  It is so far unknown what the Catechists will be doing, and their formation is as yet incomplete.

Ronan suggested enlisting students from the I.T. Social Care course, and Grainne wondered about the John Paul II students, but Fr Declan said only 2 of these keep in contact with the Parish.

The consensus was to defer as above, and meanwhile to compile a database of the JPII contestants.


  1. Mission 2019:

Fr Declan felt the choice of theme, Respect for the Environment, was a stroke of brilliance, and that John Feehan was ideal as a speaker, and he also recommended Fr Donal Dorr SPS who has written extensively on the environment.  The layout would be 1 person for 1 night for 1 talk.  A local Mercy Sister who is a Scripture Scholar would be great for a Healing Service, and someone from the Third World to tell us of the effects of our activities on their everyday life.

The Mission will be of 5 days’ duration, with 2 or 3 big speakers, and other nights with local cover – Green Flags, etc.

A Sub-committee was formed, comprising Fr Declan, Margaret Prior, Dermot Layden and Pauline Cushman, who will deal with timing, structure, logistics and research and report back to the PPC.

Margaret suggested distributing the Encyclical Laudato Si among us individually in parts, to study and Dermot volunteered his summary of this document.

Fr Declan is to contact John Feehan – guidance on possible speakers will be sought from him and Fr Dorr.

Donal Lyons is to contact relevant speakers who are coming anyway to the IT to lecture, offering them a double gig.

Fr Sean McDonagh was also mentioned.

Ronan mentioned that recent discoveries by Cosmologists endorse belief in God.


  1. There was no Report from the Cluster, as no meeting was held.
  1. Lent/Easter:

Dermot spoke on a joint effort by the Knights of Columbanus and the PPC to buy the whole set of 14 videos advertised in the Autumn 2018 edition of ‘The Angelus’ and to show them on Tuesday nights from 7.30pm to 9pm in Columbanus House.

The Stations of the Cross for Busy People will take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.  Pauline suggested a ‘lucky dip’ activity similar to that alluded to earlier for Advent, where each person randomly chooses a character from each Station and journeys through Lent with that character.

The Hunger Lunch will go ahead this year, but its attendance has progressively shrunk.

Grainne proposed a Lough Derg Friday night, comprising an all-night vigil with fasting and bare feet, followed by 8am Mass and breakfast in the Gillooly Hall – this was well-received and the date of 5/4/19 was decided on.

The Collection of donated old clothes to sell to recyclers is to be repeated this Lent.

  1. Blessed Sacrament Chapel:

This was painted and refurbished during the Christmas holidays by Volunteers, including Francie.

  1. AOB:

It was decided to defer for a few weeks, the re-running of Catechism Beyond Reasonable Doubt.

  1. Next Meeting: Thursday, Feb 14, 2019 at 8pm in St Mary’s Presbytery.



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Pauline Cushman, Secretary                                    Francie Cadden, Chairperson



Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council of the

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo

13th December 2018


Fr Victor Samugana                Fr Yashin Jos                            Sr Elvira Rosel

Dermot Layden                       Pauline Cushman                    Grrainne Kelly

Francie Cadden                       Margaret Prior                       Maire Finan

Ronan Hegarty – our new member.



Fr Declan Boyce                      Crispin Andaya                        Donal Lyons


  1. The Minutes of the last meeting of 8th November 2018 were read. They were proposed by Margaret Prior and seconded by Dermot Layden.
  2. Matters Arising:

Dermot and Francie attended Lectio Divina by the Franciscan Friars in St Bernadette’s Chapel:  they reported that it was very well done.  Much symbolism was used to encourage the people to listen in their heart and enter the circumstances of the Gospel in a deeper way than intellectual understanding.  Jesus walking on the water denotes trust in Jesus.

  1. Report from Cluster:

News of the closure of the Veritas Bookshop was received with disappointment.  Gratitude to the long-serving helpful staff was conveyed to them and to Veritas Head Office.

An Information Day was planned regarding Sacramentalisation of civil marriages; diplomatic and enhancing wording was encouraged.

Regarding Youth Matters, Fr Drumm may meet with Religion Teachers and Youth Leaders; and the Bridge Programme for parents of First Holy Communicants was discussed.

On Tuesday 18/12/18, there will be a Reconciliation Service in the Friary at 7.30pm.

A Cluster Calendar of Christmas events is to be published.

The Cluster is to communicate Christmas resources to the Parishes.

In the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from January 18-25, 2019, Bishop Kevin will speak at the Service in St John’s Church of Ireland Cathedral on 23/01/19.

Colette Furlong, Cluster Catechist reports that a number of adults are preparing for Initiation into the Church at Easter.

  1. Parish Youth Ministry Leadership Training Course:

The deadline for application is 17/03/19. The aim is for 2 people from each parish or 5 to 6 from each Cluster, to support their Priest with Youth and Young Adult Ministry.  Applicants should be at least 21 years of age but this is flexible, and should have Leadership, Management and Communication skills.  The cost to the parish will be E700 per semester and it will run for 3 semesters.

2 Information Sessions for Priests, PPC Members and those interested will take place on Tuesday 29/01/19 in Summerhill College, Sligo and Thursday 31/01/19 in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon – both at 7.30pm.

It was agreed that this should be advertised several times; Francie felt the priests should approach volunteers and Ronan Hegarty endorsed this view – he also felt Eucharistic Ministers should be approached as they already have an interest.  A summary of the Prospectus should be summarised and advertised on radio and displayed for the young people going for tea after 7pm Mass on Sundays.

Grainne felt Donal Lyons may be a possible point of liaison with IT graduates.

In summary, it was decided to defer this to the January PPC meeting.

  1. Mission 2019:

This is unlikely to run in Lent 2019 as the Stations will be in their second year.

Ronan suggested presenters with dynamic personalities and endorsed our Cathedral Priests.

Everyone agreed with Margaret’s opinion that Respect for the theme be Respect for the Environment (Laudate Si, Pope Francis’s Encyclical) – and Dermot volunteered that his previous book summarised Laudate Si.

Fr Victor suggested having John Feehan, who specialises in linking the cosmos and earth to God.

  1. Diary:

Carol Service on Sunday 23/12/18

Christmas Eve Vigil Mass at 10pm

Following the Peace Mass on 01/01/19 at 11am, PPC members are invited to the Civic Reception in St Mary’s.  Margaret felt this would be a good opportunity to lobby the Councillors regarding Care of the Environment.

  1. AOB:

Dermot reported that 8 to 9 people attended his presentations of ‘Catechism Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ between the 3 nights it has run. He read out a new notice advertising it.

Francie suggested the course should be run for schools, and that a Suggestion Box would be useful; Margaret advocated Evaluation Sheets after the presentations.

Francie said in excess of E12, 500 was raised by the recent Christmas Fair.

  1. Next Meeting: Thursday 10/01/19 at 8pm in St Mary’s.



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Pauline Cushman, Secretary                                 Francie Cadden, Chairperson.