Pastoral Council Minutes




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.



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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.






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.