Looking back at 2016 / Looking forward to 2017

ec82c7e65d5a5670baa540e1c7cc4f43At this time of the year many of us take time to look back on the year that is coming to an end.

Here at Ss. Peter and Paul’s Parish we also take this opportunity to look back.

Personnel

2016 started off with a change of personnel as Fr. Laurence Ebuk was transferred to Creggs Parish and Fr. John Deignan Joined the Parish Team. In the summer, Fr. Sean O’Dowd retired and remained living in the parish as chaplain to the Mercy Convent. Fr. Michael McManus was transferred from Drum to be Parish Priest in nearby Kiltoom Parish and was replaced by Fr. Kazimir Wrobel.

Pastoral Life of the Parish

In 2016 we welcomed 120 new members to the parish through the Sacrament of Baptism with a similar number receiving First Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation. We celebrated the life of 83 Parishioners who were called home to God, as well as many weddings both in the parish and around the country.

Lay Participation

We are very lucky to have very committed choirs in the parish the Folk Group who sing at the 6.30 vigil and the Parish Choir who sing at the 12 noon Sunday mass, the Choir in Drum who sing at the Sunday morning mass and the Choir in Clonown. At various times throughout the year the different schools from the parish sing at the 10.30am Sunday mass in Ss. Peter and Paul’s Church.

We also acknowledge the participation of many people who are involved in the following ministries, eucharistic ministers, readers, servers, collectors, visitation ministry, baptism preparation, sacramental preparation, area distributers etc. all of these ministries contribute to the life of the parish.

In 2016 we introduced a number of new pastoral initiatives which included

  • A remembrance mass for Babies / Children who died and any stage of life. This was a very well attended and emotion celebration of the Eucharist followed by the release of 600 white balloons to remember the children. Many of those who participated found the mass very helpful as the grieved their lost child. We hope to make this mass an annual event.
  • In Autumn we held our first Thanksgiving mass, we broke from the traditional harvest thanksgiving idea and gave thanks for all that makes up our community and for the many gifts and talents that continue to build the community and parish every day. The mass was very well attended and represented sporting, community and groups from all areas of life in the parish.
  • In November we held our Annual novena for the dead ending with concelebrated mass and a lighting of a memorial candle for each person who died in the previous 12 months. This mass is now an annual one and many people find great comfort from the gathering together of all who have lost a loved one.

Monksland Community Mass

The Monksland Community Mass is held in Monksland Community Centre on the second Thursday of each month. This mass is an intimate celebration of the Eucharist followed by tea scones and friendly banter, we are very happy with the numbers participating.

Ministry to Sick and Housebound

Every month more than 50 parishioners are visited in their homes by the priests of the parish. During these visits the person is offered the sacrament of reconciliation, the sacrament of the sick and Holy Communion. These visits compliment the more frequent visits by Eucharistic ministers who visit with Holy Communion on a weekly / daily basis.

We ask the help of parishioners in letting us know when people are sick or in hospital so we can visit them if they would like us to.

Three Tenors Concert

As we prepared for Christmas we hosted a concert by Three Tenors Ireland, titled their Christmas Peace Concert, the Tenors were joined by 100 pupils from St Peter’s, Dean Kelly and Summerhill National Schools.

New Pastoral Council

In Autumn, we introduced a new Parish Pastoral Council. We are very happy with the age, gender and geographic representation of the new council. This council is to advise and work with the priests of the parish in developing a good pastoral plan for the care of the parish community. The maximum term for a member of this committee is 4 years, half of the committee will change every two years to ensure consistency and good planning practice.

Sunday Greeting by Clergy

One of the initiatives introduced by the new council is the Sunday procession from the rear of the churches by the celebrant , servers , readers and ministers and the priests greeting those attending mass at the main door as they leave the church after mass. This has been well received and the priests are finding it very helpful in getting to know parishioners a little better.

Live Streaming of Mass

Conscious of the many people who are house-bound or living overseas and unable to join the community for mass we introduced a live streaming web-cam in Ss. Peter and Paul’s Church in November. This has proven a very helpful pastoral aid as not only can parishioners who are house-bound or in nursing homes join us for mass but also overseas family members can join their families for funeral masses etc that they are unable to attend due to distance / cost issues.

Schools in the Parish

  • Cloonakilla Primary School;
  • the new school is currently being built and we hope it will open in September 2017.
  • St. Joseph’s College, Summerhill and St. Aloysius College will both amalgamate in summer 2017 and our new school Coláiste Chiaráin will be located at Summerhill in Athlone from September 2017.
    • Plans for the new building will be revealed through 2017 with the build starting shortly afterwards. The new diocesan college will have capacity for 1000 students and will be able to offer a larger more diverse range of subjects for students. This is an exciting development not just for the parish but also for the greater west Athlone South Roscommon area.

We currently have two secondary and eight primary schools in the parish.

We acknowledge with thanks the commitment of the many parishioners who voluntarily give of their time to be on the boards of the schools.

2017

2017 is a special year in the Parish as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of Ss. Peter and Paul’s Church. We will have a few events during the year to mark this anniversary, details will follow.

Parish Profile

Ss. Peter and Paul’s Parish is a large urban / rural parish with a diverse population. We welcome the diversity of ethnic and cultural backgrounds that now make up our community and are always open to working with groups to help them have a good experience of church and faith.

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