Parish Pastoral Council Elections PDF Print E-mail

ElectionsNominations and election of new members for the Parish Pastoral Council are due to take place. Read more about the work of the outgoing Council and the procedure for choosing replacement members.


Our Parish Pastoral Council was formed in 2006 and held its first meeting on 5th April 2006. Members elected by the Parish Community were
Mrs. Ursula Barlow, (The Beeches), Miss. Rosaleen Hamill (Ballyoran Heights), Mrs. Geraldine Lawless (Derrylettiff), Mrs. Geraldine Lawless (Rose Cottages), who was elected Secretary, Mrs. Marcelle McAtarsney (Garvaghy Road), Mr. Paddy Gorman (Drumcree Road), Mr. David Greer (Woodside Green), Mr. Kevin McCann (The Beeches, who died November 2006 RIP), Mr. Denis McCourt (Ashley Heights) who was elected Chair, Mr. Denis McKeever (Ridgeway Park North), Mr. Aidan McCormac (Woodside Green) who had the next highest number of votes in the Parish election replaced Mr. Kevin McCann RIP.
Co-opted Members were Mr. Eamon Fleming (Ridgeway Park North) who was a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council; Sr. Brigid Kavanagh (Thomas Street) representing the Religious Communities of Presentation Sisters and Jesuits; Miss Rachel Beattie (Rose Cottages) representing Portadown Youth Liturgy Group – she in turn has been joined by Mr. Michael Breen (Ballyoran Heights), (both now from the Parish SHYNE Group). Ex-officio members are Frs. Brian White and Michael O’Dwyer – the latter being President of the Council.

The Council began meeting monthly ordinarily on the third Thursday of the month following the evening liturgy.

Initially the Council surfaced needs and concerns in the Parish and addressed these to be resolved by the priests, the Council, or other persons or committees of the Parish.

Time was devoted to studying what a Parish Pastoral Council is and does. This was achieved by spending discussion time at each meeting on material in the book ‘Partnership in Parish’ by Enda Lyons and ‘Parish Pastoral Councils’ from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and also through an afternoon retreat led by Fr. John Gates.

A Mission Statement was formulated and posted on the Parish Website and in the weekly bulletin. A Constitution was also adopted.

While the Parish Pastoral Council is still in its formative stage it has been working with the priests and committees of the Parish to further Parish life more effectively. Among ideas addressed during the three years are the following: tarmac-ing of car park at St. John the Baptist Church; plans for a new Pastoral Centre to be built beside St. John the Baptist Church; a website informing Parishioners and others of Parish events and activities; PALS (children’s liturgy group) has become a regular part of our weekend liturgies; a more reverent and orderly approach to Holy Communion organised by the Liturgy Committee; reception of Holy Communion under both species has been introduced at special liturgies; a new bulletin format has enhanced communication and provides the Sunday readings for further personal and family reflection at home; Week/Days of Prayer were organised in 2007 and 2008 and each concluded with a celebratory Garden Party which was much enjoyed by all. A number of Committees have been set up to explore how we can further enhance our Parish life and ministry. These include welcoming new members to our Parish especially those from other countries who have come to live among us; ongoing planning for our Pastoral Centre; better communication with and among our Parish members; listening to those who may be disillusioned or alienated from Church.

We have made a good beginning but there are continuing challenges. As the Diocese initiates new structures the Council is entrusted with helping our Parish members express and nourish themselves as a living community. ‘The Church comes to life in local faith communities of Dioceses and Parishes when members support and care for one another, proclaim the live the Gospel, celebrate the Sacred Liturgy and work in charity and justice for the good of the whole world.’ (Parish Pastoral Councils)

Dear Parishioners,

        The above resume is mostly the work of Sr. Brigid Kavanagh, and I thank her for giving us a succinct report on the last three years.

    As you may have read in the Easter Sunday bulletin elections are now due for the Parish Pastoral Council. Six elected in 2006 have indicated that they wish to step down – at this stage I thank them for the work and effort they have put in to enriching our Parish. The Constitution of the Pastoral Council says that there must be elections every three years. This allows for more Parishioners to get involved and make use of the talents and gifts for the good of the whole Parish.

    The Parish Pastoral Council is a leadership structure that enables priests and people to work together in their mission of evangelisation, building up vibrant Christian Communities that are rooted in Baptism and charcterised by faith, worship and service.

    The Parish Pastoral Council is a representative body, in which the diversity of the Parish Community is reflected. It is a means whereby the Parish as a whole can be consulted in relation to its pastoral concerns and its future development.

    The primary task of the Parish Pastoral Council is to promote pastoral action.

Election Procedure:
Parishioners are asked to nominate other Parishioners – namely, baptised Catholics, aged 17years or more, who participate in the life and worship of the Parish, who have a loving concern for the Parish and are willing to be part of a Parish leadership group. Use the form in this week’s bulletin to nominate next weekend 2nd/3rd May. From these nominations Parishioners will be able to vote for their choice on 9th/10th May.

The six people standing down from the present Pastoral Council are:  Mrs. Ursula Barlow, (The Beeches), Miss. Rosaleen Hamill (Ballyoran Heights), Mrs. Geraldine Lawless (Derrylettiff), Mrs. Marcelle McAtarsney (Garvaghy Road), Mr. Paddy Gorman (Drumcree Road), and Mr. Eamon Fleming (Ridgeway Park North) – these are not eligible for nomination this time round but will be in the 2012/2015 elections.

The Spirit of God breathes in each Parishioner and each has something to contribute. No one is so rich that they have nothing to receive, and no one is so poor that they have nothing to give.


Michael O’Dwyer

25th/26th April 2009

Download a Nomination Form