The Diocesan Synod of Limerick came to a close this Sunday, 10 April, at the Mary Immaculate College in Limerick.
The Synod of Limerick was the first of its kind in Ireland in fifty years, and the first in Limerick in over eighty years The eighteen-month process, which saw input from over 4,000 members of Limerick Diocese, culminated in a three-day synod, which took place this weekend, 8 – 10 April. In preparation for this three-day meeting, over 100 proposals were brought forward under the following themes:
- Community and Sense of Belonging;
- New Models of Leadership;
- Liturgy and Life;
- Pastoral Care of the Family;
- Faith Formation; and
- Youth Ministry
97 of the 100 proposals were approved by the 400 plus delegates who gathered in Mary Immaculate College over the weekend.
Speaking at the end of the three day session, Bishop Brendan Leahy, who called the Synod back in September 2014, said that the synod marks a moment in the history of the diocese and a new beginning:
We have been on an incredible journey over the past eighteen months and started this because we wanted to hear from the people exactly what they are concerned about and what we can do in the future to improve our Church and how it serves the people.
The great thing about it is that it has been a people-led journey. The people decided what would be on the agenda and the people voted. We now have a new beginning and go from this with the challenge of implementing almost 100 proposals, probably hundreds of initiatives in total; to make sure our Church serves as it should in the future.
Arising from this, we have a lot of change to implement and it won’t happen overnight. But we will get there.
Synod Director Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon commented, “We did this because Pope Francis has invited us to look again at our Church life and renew it. We completely opened up, asked 5,000 people what was wrong, what was right, how the Church can best serve in the future and we will now implement change on the basis of what they have said.”
“This has been a really unifying and inclusive process and we now have a lot to do but look forward to doing this together.”