Things have been happening very fast in our parishes and in our diocese over recent months. In our parishes: two new national schools, one open in Saggart for a year, the other in Newcastle about to open, then the beginning of a major 'make over' for St Mary's, now complete as regards the outside work. In our diocese: the hard thinking that has gone on over the future, focused on pressing personnel and financial needs.
'Pledge' cards were distributed at Mass last Sunday and will be again this Sunday. This certainly must have woken us all up, no doubt with a bit of a shock, to the hard realities of contemporary parochial life. Yes, we knew in theory all about the shortage of priests, and yes we were aware that Parish Pastoral Workers like our own Sean O'Rourke were helping out and, quite naturally, being paid for it, but now, with the gradual rolling out of the 'diocesan initiative for financial development entitled "Living the Joy of the Gospel - Building our Faith Community"' (words from the diocesan website), it is beginning to come home to us that we are faced, both locally and on a diocesan level, with an unprecedentedly challenging situation that we have to think about and, eventually (and now comes the big Yes or No), get out our wallet in response to.
When giving money, we all have to look very hard at what it is for and how much we can afford to give. We are bombarded with good causes, local, national and even international. It is becoming increasingly hard for families to 'hierarchize' these, to decide what knock on the door to respond to and what, regrettably, to refuse. Mid-range, high up or low down in that hierarchy, 'What does St Mary's or Dublin diocese mean to me in the final analysis?' is a question that arises for each of us and is for each of us to answer, me included.
Donal McMahon, Web Sec
Example of Pledge Card: Click to Enlarge
Please see 'St Mary's Renovation' on the top menu bar for more information.