As part of the Accord 60th Cruinniú, Bishop Denis Nulty clebrated Mass on 10 September 2022 in the College Chapel of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Bishop Nulty is Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin and President of Accord CLG. The ceremony involved conferring on twenty-nine counsellors, and graduates in Marriage Facilitation Ministry, all of whom will serve in the three Accord companies on the island: Accord CLG, Accord Dublin CLG and Accord Northern Ireland CLG.

Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service is a voluntary organisation that aims to promote a deeper understanding of Christian marriage, and to offer couples the means to safeguard and nourish their marriage and family relationships.

Drawing attention to the work Accord does to support children, Bishop Nulty said, “In the mid 1990’s State funding was more generously given to Accord centres and rightly so.  The service Accord then provided was second to none, and this was a great saving for the State in terms of supporting marriages, relationships and families.  With funding understandably comes compliance and regulation.  TUSLA here in South, and the NI Department of Health in the North, continue today to generously fund us and for that we are very grateful.  Accord’s counselling service contributes in a very positive way to the happiness and well-being of many children.

“For example, in an Accord submission to the Universal Synodal process during the summer, we were reminded “emotionally unhealthy or dysfunctional families find the task of rearing and enabling children to be balanced and happy is quite challenging and difficult.”   Even at sixty perhaps Accord remains a hidden and unspoken treasure of our Church?”

Emphasising the importance of a combined effort in supporting families across Ireland, Bishop Nulty said, “In June, at the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome, there was a strong plea to offer better supports for marriage and the family.  We need to work much more closely with parishes and other ecclesial movements.  Accord in our three autonomous companies cannot do it alone, we need each other and need our parishes and our movements such as Cana, Retrouvaille, Teams of Our Lady, Marriage Encounter to mention just a few.  Let us form an alliance of movements, parishes and agencies that are about the same thing, the same goal, the same endpoint.

In conclusion Bishop Nulty said, “Indeed such an alliance would speak to the yearlong marriage catechumenate that the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life is drafting in Rome and more importantly to the promotion and support of sacramental marriage, at a time when the numbers choosing a Church wedding are sadly on a downward trajectory.  Let us together reverse that trend!”

To read this homily in full, click here.

ENDS