Every Catholic is called to take an active part in the life of the local church, Bishop Fintan Gavin told all who attended the Mass of Chrism at the Cathedral in Cork on Holy Thursday morning
“This means not just priests and deacons and religious but all the people baptised and anointed with chrism in confirmation.“ he said.
Bishop Gavin was preaching the homily at the annual Mass at which priests renew the promises they made at ordination. The three holy oils which are used in the sacraments across the diocese during the year were blessed by the bishop during the Mass.
More than 60 priests concelebrated the Mass in which people from many parishes were in the congregation at the Cathedral. Addressing the priests, Bishop Fintan thanked them for their openess to the many changes that are happening in the diocese.
“During the past year, almost half of our priests have moved house - some to retire and others to take up new appointments. And many of those who have not moved house have also begun to work in new Families of Parishes. The majority of Cork & Ross priests have undertaken new appointments in the past year.”
"Most priests in the diocese are now ministering closely alongside other priests" Bishop Fintan said.
Priests are also ministering in a new context which also involves co-responsibility with lay people in the parishes.
“It’s not simply a matter of 'helping Father run his parish’ – priest and people have to work together. This was strongly called for in the preparations for the synod last year, and priests made the same point at a gathering we had in 2021.”
Bishop Fintan said that the diocese is committed to helping this happen. The diocese is in the final stages of employing a Parish Life Coordinator who will support priests and people through these times of change.
Bishop Fintan has also invited a woman with experience in helping parishes to address change to address two events in the diocese in May. Julianne Stanz will address two gathering which will take place at the end of May, in West Cork and in the city. Places will be limited but it is hoped that six to ten people from each parish will be able to take part. There will be more information about this after Easter.
“Everyone here is called to be a missionary disciple.” Bishop Fintan said.