Wednesday, 24th April 2024

A Time for Lay People

Posted on 22. Apr, 2011 in Carousel

In 2010 the Pontifical Irish College launched an initiative to help those involved in parish ministries to rediscover the meaning of their baptism. Participants found the course refreshing, interesting and challenging. Mairead Darcy, pastoral worker in Nass reflected that “Some of the best experiences were the visit to and liturgy in the Baptistery at St John Lateran and Mass in St Peter’s in the early morning. It was super to go into the excavations of St. Peter’s as it grounded us in the history of the early church and Rome.” Eric Cooney, a permanent diaconate candidate from Dublin, wrote that “The gatherings for prayer were incredibly profound and were among the highlights of the course.”

Irish parishes are undergoing transition as they foster a greater sense of shared responsibility between priest and people. Many give generously of their time on the parish pastoral council, on the finance committee, as a collector, in administration, in youth work, in family support, in mission awareness. Others contribute through involvement in the liturgy. Yet more are active members of associations like the St Vincent de Paul, St Joseph’s Young Priests Society, prayer groups, lectio divina, ACCORD, Cura, and the Pioneer Association.

This course is particularly opportune as the Irish Church embraces a period of renewal and following the recent publication of Sharing the Good News, the National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland, and the upcoming International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. Participants will have an opportunity to return to the source of early Christian baptism while engaging with the life of the Catholic Church in a broader context.

Rome is a fascinating place to rediscover the meaning of baptism in the light of the experience of the early Christian community. Lectures, liturgies and visits to significant sites in Rome will combine to deepen an appreciation of baptism as a participation in the saving mystery of Christ Jesus and as a call to service.

This year’s course will take place from Sunday evening, 24 July, to Saturday morning, 30 July 2011. The cost remains €870. A deposit of €250 is required to secure a place. Rooms are air-conditioned. Please arrange your own travel to Rome. Transfer to/from the airport in Rome, entry fees, excursions, lectures and half-board are included in the cost. Those who wish to arrive prior to 24 July or remain after 30 July may do so subject to availability. If you wish to reserve a place telephone 00 39 06 772631 or e mail