Parish cells in Ireland will gather this September at a National Cell Seminar to celebrate 26 years of parish cells in Ireland. The seminar will take place from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 September in Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Balinteer, Dublin 16, where the earliest Irish parish cells were formed in 1990.
The theme of this year’s seminar will be “Living the Joy of the Gospel”. Commencing Friday evening at 5.30pm and concluding lunchtime Sunday, the seminar will offer a variety of experiences to those attending, including a home cell meeting, Mass, time of reflection and healing, as well as presentations and Q&A sessions.
Parish cells are small faith groups, of fewer than 14 people, that meet regularly for prayer, reflection and to share their faith. Mgr Mike Eivers, born in County Longford, popularised the parish cells movement in his parish in Florida, USA, in the late 1980s, inspired by a parish cell movement in South Korea. In 1990, four parishioners from Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Ballinteer introduced the movement, at one point reaching over 300 parishioners active in 31 different cells.
In April of last year, Parish Cells of Evangelisation received permanent recognition from the Pontifical Council for the Laity. To bestow this recognition Pope Francis issued an invitation to all cell people from around the world to meet with him in the Vatican. Over 5,000 people, 124 of whom were from Ireland met with Pope Francis, who encouraged the cells to continue with their work, expressing that meeting in the home “is a genuine experience of evangelisation that is very similar to what happened in the early days of the Church.”
For more information on parish cells in Ireland, visit: www.parishcellsireland.net