Kerry members explain why diocesan ACP meetings don’t work

Five of us met recently to discuss the future of the A.C.P. at  diocesan level. It is clear to us that while many are interested in the Association, few of us priests respond to regular meetings. Distance, energy levels, enthusiasm and engagement are factors.
Issues that are discussed in the ACP website are being read but, “something prevents us” from contributing. Is it ability, fear of contradiction, or taking a risk, shyness or hesitation at going public to a wide audience?
An idea that has come up for us is that the website could be used more to outline initiatives that are worth sharing to help us with the pastoral responses we make to situations.
Pat Moore, Pat Ahern, Denis O’Mahony , Dan Ahern, Tadgh Fitzgerald.

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  1. Brendan Cafferty says:

    Thought Kerrymen had more courage and a lot to offer. Dont be afraid in county of John B , Bryan McMahon and others. New era with Pope Francis ?

  2. Con Devree says:

    Starting with prayer might help. Then an hours Eucharistic adoration, then a bit of Lumen Gentium ….

  3. Mary O Vallely says:

    Actually I was pleased to read such an honest report of the five ACP ‘lads’ who met in Kerry.
    At least you’re upfront and honest and that idea of sharing examples of good practice is a worthy one. I could share some very good initiatives we had here in Armagh over Lent but I’m not allowed into the ranks of the ordained so can’t even speak in loco sacerdotalis. (I’ll let Eddie Finnegan correct my Latin.)
    It’s a start. At least you’re meeting and giving each other support so continue to meet up, share your honest feelings with each other and be there for each other. Bail ó Dhia ar an obair.
    “Where two or three are gathered together….”

  4. I would love to receive material from Kerry, for the Special Occasions and the Sunday Homily Resources. It’s the county with probably the greatest concentration of experts in language and in the colourful phrase. Indeed any other initiative coming from Kerry to help in the task of priesting today would be most welcome by the ACP website.

  5. As an ex Irish catholic, with many historical misgivings regarding the church, I am nonetheless moved to feel great empathy for Kerry priests. I note Brendan’s comment regarding courage, but courage can only be expected where it might result in a positive end. Courage without purpose is folly.
    What I would say to Kerry priests is this; Catholicism in Ireland, for all its faults, most particularly its detrimental effect on the education such as myself in my youth, has held so very much meaning for generations, as a focus of community values. The catholic church has had a wonderful place in Irish culture, defined by the majority of priests who have always seen themselves as servants for the greater good. In my growing up I met so many truly good priests, even if my Faith has subsequently faded.
    Today I have the ACP icon prominently on my desktop. I check in regularly with the hope of hearing that you are doing well and that the catholic church is growing in its sense of purpose. I am heartened that the ACP might eventually drag draconian Rome into step with a modern priesthood, free from fear of sanction and open debate.
    I would say to Kerry priests, come join your fellows in the ACP and bring the Catholic church closer to a modern Irish society that wants and needs you. Throw off the man made strictures that for so long have alienated the church from an evolving society, or otherwise you face increasing irrelevance in the global community.
    In all sincerity

  6. Yes, it is difficult to have enthusiasm for attending meetings or even writing on web sites. Yet, I am always struck by the range of human events that priests experience–joyful ones such as marriages, baptisms and the really painful ones–death by road accidents, by suicide, by the onset of desease. It would be good if priests told us what it feels like to participate in the joys and sorrows of the parishioners. Given that some people just use the church as a social accessory, there must be times when priests feel used, abused and taken for granted. Now, I am not suggesting a “Talk to Joe” whining session–but just a genuine human response to your life situations.

  7. Linda, Derry says:

    No harm to you Margaret but I don’t believe encouraging the priesthood to betray their parishioners by breaching their confidence and participating in what could be sinful gossip is appropriate.Our Lady’s sons have, believe it or not, their Mother to turn to and, of course Jesus in the tabernacle. With respect, a well known tactic of Satan is to emphasise the difficulties involved in ministry, discouragement, and it says in proverbs that to mind one’s own business is a virtue. Not being rude but, tempting as your suggestion may be, it is also sinful. God Bless:-)

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