Synod on Family Consultation Arrangements





9 February 2015.

For the attention of the Newsdesk.

Further to the recent letter of Bishop MacDaid which was read in all churches on 25 January and made available through the local media, and the establishment of a Steering Group for the holding of consultations with the faithful – priests and laity – of the diocese; arrangements have been announced of Clogher’s response to the invitation from Pope Francis for all to walk together in seeking to understand the mission and vocation of family and discerning pastoral responses in the contemporary world.

A series of consultations with priests, at the level of grouped Pastoral Areas (PAs) is already underway and evoking an enthusiastic level of participation. The next stage will be a formal consultation with families in parishes and this is being done through a series of regional gatherings at PA level and also through the provision for individuals to make submissions on any aspect of the working document from Rome via the Diocesan Office.

In order to obtain a deeper and more insightful reflection and response to the issues posed in the questions arising from the Working Document or Lineamenta, the Steering Group has agreed that each gathering will focus on two specific question sections, which are assigned to each meeting as set out below. These question sections, which are now available in parishes, are:

  1. The family in God’s salvific plan
  2. The truth and beauty of the family and mercy towards wounded families
  3. Accompanying married couples in the initial years of marriage
  4. Pastoral care of persons with homosexual tendencies
  5. Upbringing and the role of the family in evangelisation.

This method will ensure that all questions will be reflected upon across the diocese and that everyone will not be asked to deal with all questions. However, if anyone wishes to address a specific question that is of interest or concern to them, whether it be on the enclosed questionnaire or on the wider Lineamenta, they are free to do so and make a submission to the Diocesan Office before 6 March 2015. Both the Lineamenta and Questions are also available via the diocesan website .

The following are the dates and venues for the gatherings at Pastoral Areas level and the Question topics that each meeting will be asked to focus on:

Monday 16 February – (Area No 1) 

Monaghan & Rackwallace, Kilmore & Drumsnat, Tyholland

Truagh, Donagh, Tydavnet

Venue: St Joseph’s Pastoral Centre, Monaghan.

Question Sections to be focussed on: 1 & 5


Tuesday 17 February – (Area No 2)

Muckno, Clontibret

Tullycorbet, Lough Egish, Latton & Rockcorry

Venue: Íontas Centre, Bree Road, Castleblayney.

Question Sections to be focussed on: 2 & 4


Thursday 19 February – (Area No 3)

Carrickmacross, Donaghmoyne

Inniskeen, Killanny, Magheracloone.

Venue: Shirely Arms Hotel, Carrickmacross

Question Sections to be focussed on: 1 & 3


Thursday 19 February – (Area No 5)

Enniskillen, Tempo

Arney, Derrygonnelly

Venue: St Fainche’s College, Enniskillen.

Question Sections to be focussed on: 1 & 4


Monday 23 February – (Area No 4)

Clones, Killeevan, Roslea

Galloon, Aghalurcher

Venue: Cúil Darach Restaurant, Fermanagh Street, Clones.

Question Sections to be focussed on: 2 & 5


Tuesday 24 February – (Area No 7)

Clogher, Eskra, Fivemiletown & Brookboro

Trillick, Dromore, Fintona

Venue: TBC

Question Sections to be focussed on: 3 & 5


Thursday 26 February – (Area No 6)

Irvinestown, Ederney,Pettigo

Belleek-Garrison, Magh Ene

Venue: Pastoral Centre, Bundoran.

Question Sections to be focussed on: 2 & 4.


Each meeting will begin at 8pm, registration from 7.30pm.

Parishes have been asked to ensure that it has at least six (6) representatives at their respective gathering. This should take into account representation of families in the parishes as a whole, groups or persons working with families (e.g. ACCORD or St Vincent de Paul etc), members of Parish Pastoral Councils or Teams, and should aim to reflect the realities of family life in parishes today.

The format of the gatherings will be straight-forward

  • Opening Prayer
  • Short Introduction & Background presentation
  • Workgroup Sessions (x 2) of 30 minutes each
  • Wrap up
  • Concluding Prayer

All parishioners will be welcome to attend the gatherings. It is hoped to hold the numbers at each to around fifty, for management purposes. However, no one will be excluded. It is important to highlight that people who cannot make the gatherings or who wish to address any of the other questions in the lineamenta may do so in writing, so long as it is received by 6 March 2015.

This is a short-term exercise. Our responses must be with the Irish Episcopal Conference by the end of March for submission to Rome by mid-April. The Steering Group, chaired by Gary Carville from Castleblayney, is keen that all be allowed to make whatever contribution they can within the tight timeframe available. Members of the Steering Group, all of whom represent various aspects of diocesan life, will be leading and helping to facilitate the gatherings.

Bishop Liam especially asks everyone who participates to remember that we are all taking part in a Synodal exercise, ‘in other words, we are all walking together, Pope, Bishop, Priests and non-ordained faithful, on a journey. It is our desire that this will be a journey of the Spirit’. He recalls the words of Pope Francis at the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod last October:

Dear brothers and sisters, now we still have […] to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront; to give answers to the many discouragements that surround and suffocate families…. May the Lord accompany us, and guide us in this journey for the glory of His Name, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Saint Joseph.



For further information:         Clogher Diocesan Office, Bishop’s House, Monaghan.

Tel. +353 47 81019. Email:

Gary Carville (Chairperson of Steering Group)

Tel + 353 87 2577836. Email:

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