Our Parish Assembly is our parish leadership group, made up of parishioners drawn from our entire parish community who, together with our priests, look to the needs of the parish and try to plan for how these might be best met .
The first Parish Assembly here in the Harbour Parishes was established back in 2006 and we are now in our fifth Parish Assembly, with each assembly serving a three year period.
The current officers of the Parish Assembly are:
Chairperson: Eamonn Downey
Secretary: Louise O' Sullivan Geary
What does a Parish Assembly do?
In his book ‘The Welcoming Parish’ Donal Harrington describes the key role of the parish assembly as follows:
'…. to exercise a leadership role that is at the service of the parish and its people . The assembly is the group that holds the whole parish in its view and plans for the future. Essentially the assembly is the place where the key questions facing the parish can be thought about, prayed with, discussed and decided on. '
The Parish Assembly seeks to answer the following questions:
Who are we as a parish?
What are the needs of our parish community?
What are we called to do?
How can we best go about it?
The goal of any parish assembly is to create an ever more caring welcoming vibrant community where our Christian faith and the good news of Jesus is both celebrated and lived.
What does a Parish Assembly not do?
Parish assemblies do not take over the responsibilities of the many other groups who look after different ministries in the parish and do so very well.
The Parish Assembly does not worry about issues like finance or maintenance of church properties: These are looked after by the Parish Finance Committee.
How does the Parish Assembly work?
The Parish Assembly meets once a month, about nine times a year , for approximately an hour and a half each meeting. The primary responsibility of members is to attend the monthly meeting and to actively contribute to planning the way forward for the parish.
The assembly is not meant to, nor does it try to, do everything itself. Rather it comes up with ideas and initiatives that it believes would be good for the parish and then invites the wider parish community to become involved in implementing those ideas and initiatives. Hopefully, in this way, the parish assembly creates opportunities for other people in the community to get involved in those aspects of the life of the parish that interest them most.
A Word from our Chairperson, Eamonn Downey