The Diocese of Down and Connor Diocesan Pastoral Council hosted their second Mid- Summer evening on Wednesday 21 June. This event, developed from the diocesan pastoral plan, was an evening to celebrate the vital contribution of new initiatives as part of their Living Church project. This year Saint Genevieve’s High School in Saint Michael the Archangel Parish in West Belfast hosted the evening.
Eight parish councils were represented from across the Diocese. They presented projects of pastoral care and initiatives they have launched and carried through in their respective parishes. The Mid Summer Evening event was a moment of sharing and bonding between parishes and those who serve in them. It was also an occasion of sharing ideas and pastoral practices. Ideas were shared on outreach programmes in the ministry towards children, youth and older people. Catechetical initiatives encouraging a better knowledge of the Bible, a deepening of prayer life and various approaches to celebrate and experience the Year of Mercy were shared. Experience and good practice in the work of volunteers to promote safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults were presented and participants were also offered a view into the vibrant faith life of the Syro-Malabar community.
Participants were encouraged and energised by the initiatives, research and commitment on the part of so many volunteers within parishes throughout the Diocese to live and promote Christian faith and life.
As well as favouring exchange of ideas and practices between parishes, this annual gathering promotes contact between members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council and members of Parish Pastoral Councils.