21 January 2021
PPC Report 2007

 Parish Pastoral Council 2007

Members of the Parish Pastoral Council

Fr. Sean Heaney, Fr. Shane Crombie, Sr. Genny Hassey, Sr. Margarat Bourke, Richard Egan,   Margaret Kelly,   Barbara Mahon,  Rhona Cloonan, John Hannigan, Pat Kearns,   Mary Larkin,   Carmel McGinn,   Tomasz Askuntowicz,  
Geraldine O’Toole Leavy, Eilish Fogarty, Robert Holmes, 
Doreen Grimes, Tom Berry, Padraig Corcoran, Kevin Wrafter, Ann Starling, Michelle Mahon, Michael Hanlon

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Present: Richard Egan, Margaret Kelly, Barbara Mahon, Rhona Cloonan, John Hannigan, Pat Kearns, Mary Larkin, Carmel McGinn, Tomasz Askuntowicz, Geraldine O’Toole Leavy, Eilish Fogarty, Robert Holmes, Sean Heaney, Doreen Grimes, Tom Berry, Padraig Corcoran, Kevin Wrafter, Margaret Burke, Genny Hassey, Niall O’Connell

Apologies: Shane Crombie, Ann Starling, Michelle Mahon

Minutes & Matters Arising: 1.  Fr John’s Farewell Night - John Hannigan congratulated all concerned in the organisation of the evening.  Doreen pointed out that the bar didn’t close during the Prayer Service which was most inappropriate.  This would need to be rectified in the case of future such events.  The meeting felt that a policy should be in place in future to mark the departure of a priest from the parish.  It was decided to leave the discussion until the January meeting.  Put it on the agenda.

The Chairman extended congratulations to all concerned with the recent musical production by St Mary’s Youth & Community Centre, “Back to the 80's”.

Correspondence: Letter from Bill O’Hanlon, Manager of St Mary’s Youth & Community Centre, requesting funding for the insurance for the year.  The PPC referred the request to Finance with a recommendation that it be paid as has been the practice in recent years.

Four Pillars: At this point Niall O’Connell was welcomed.
Fr Sean opened the discussion by reading a Mission Statement, 2008-2010, which he had drawn up for PPC, to outline our main task as:
i) outreach to young people, especially 18-35 year olds;
ii) outreach to new citizens from other countries;
iii) services to the sick & elderly;
iv) outreach to those in irregular unions.
Niall facilitated the remainder of the meeting.

Pillar 1: Niall re-iterated the challenge to engage with young people who are cash rich and time poor.  We can use our position through school and prep for sacraments to target the parents.  Niall invited questions and suggestions from all present.  Geraldine O’Toole Leavy put forward three suggestions particularly directed to young couples and young parents:
1.  Design cards containing words of maternity blessing;
2.  Print prayer cares and details of Baptism and distribute them in hospitals, doctor’s surgery, etc.  The difficulty of distributing such material through these outlets, was outlined.
3.  Celebrate Mass annually for married couples, focussing on the sanctity of marriage.
It was highlighted that we need to engage with the people of the parish if new programmes are to be established.  We need to invest time if we are to get the support of people.
We also need to look at initiatives to attract young uni students when they come home on holidays.
Niall pointed out that the manner in which the whole package is sold is extremely important if it is to achieve its objective.  We also need to be specific re who takes responsibility for the implementation of any project on which we embark.

Pillar 2: Communication is very important.  Make what we do user friendly.  We need a communications policy.

Pillar 3: Highlight the difference between sick and elderly.

Pillar 4: Make all welcome.  The Church is everyone’s home.

Niall was very strong on putting a big effort into communicating the message.  He suggested we target Pillar No 1 for ‘08.  Genny raised the point that she understood all four pillars would be worked on simultaneously.  She also pointed out the need to work with the U-18 age group.

We now need to appoint a steering committee and we need to recruit people.  Personal invitation is probably the best method.  People who come on board need to be well briefed and need to feel they are wanted.  Niall volunteered to be part of group dealing with Pillar 1.  Geraldine O’Toole Leavy is also willing to be involved.

AOB: Doreen reported that a lady had fallen in the Church car park on Saturday night and had injured her hand.  There is need fro a light on the pedestrian walk way, ie the steps.

The meeting then concluded and the members enjoyed their Christmas party.

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The meeting was facilitated by Niall O’Connell.

Aim of Meeting: To identify projects that the parish can work on for the next three years, ie ‘08-‘10 as part of its strategic voyage.

Pillar No 1 - Point 1: Target young people in the 18-35 year group.  This was identified as Pillar No 1.  Niall invited those present to throw out ideas.  The following were voiced:
I. Young parents targeted through the sacramental preparation of their children for Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation.
II. Second chance Mass aimed at inviting those who have fallen away from Mass to return to a special Mass which would emphasise “welcome”.  Agreed this terminology wasn’t good.  This needs another name - needs good advertisement.
The Church is home to everyone.
I. Invite this age group to a night in the Court for a ‘Brainstorming’ session during which we could listen to their needs.  Challenge them to become involved and ask them to volunteer an hour a month to help the parish.
II. A young persons special Mass maybe once a month, the young people being totally involved.  Special Masses around 2nd & 3rd level exams.
III. The parish web site could be used to a greater degree to target this age group.
IV. Outreach to young people damaged by drugs - experience the compassionate heart of Christ.  Offer them hope.

Pillar No 1 - Point 2:  Enhance engagement with the people of the parish.  Need to plan to recruit more volunteers to help.  A campaign of preaching on the theme of lay involvement could be undertaken.  This would need to be done over a period of time.  End of January 08 be in position to talk to congregation at all Masses.

Pillar No1 - Point 3: More activities over the summer.  While this might be desirable, there wasn’t any great enthusiasm among the group because:
a)  years of experience have shown that events are not well attended.  The parish machine winds down during the summer;
b) Parish Team needs a break from the hectic programme in operation the remainder of the year;
c) People tend to be away on holidays;
d) Programme already in place to be sustained, ie Fleadh Cheoil again in ‘08.

Pillar No 1 - Point 4: Junior Parish Pastoral Council.  These young people need to be fostered and encouraged.  We need to invest in them, in the Family Mass Choir and young readers to bring them up through the system.
We need a diversity programme for new Irish.
Define communication policy for 2008.

Pillar No 2: Communication!  What’s good?  What’s in need of improvement?  What’s the challenge.  Good communication system vital.

Pillar No 3: Care of the Sick & Elderly
Need to distinguish between sick and elderly.  Need to have a menu of support for:
1.  Elderly
2.  Sick
3.  Those with special needs
4.  Disabled
5.  Housebound
We need to address the problem of loneliness.  Need to continue radio link with church.  Local TV link?  What is the plan?

Pillar No 4: Those separated or in irregular unions.  More engagement with these people.  Let them see the church is the home of all.  Let them experience welcome rather than censure.  Work with Accord.

We identified projects.  We need to get people involved - appeal for support.  We have a road map.

Niall suggested we take a pillar a year, plan our strategy.  He sees the 1st Pillar as the most important.  He would hope to check in with us about four times a year in order to keep us on track.
Implementation Steps - road map for 2008
1 Define pillars of activity for 08, 09,10 (next PPC meeting)
2 Draft communication for end of Jan 08 (for all Masses)
3 Agree on start date for implementing Pillar 1 (after Easter 08)
4 Design Team to implement Pillar 1 for 08
5 Review progress on a quarterly basis
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Present: Margaret Kelly, Anne Starling, Tomasz Askuntowicz, Carmel McGinn, Pat Kearns, Barbara Mahon, Sean Heaney, Robert Holmes, Margaret Burke, Eilish Fogarty, Genny Hassey, Geraldine O’Toole Leavy, John Hannigan, Mary Larkin, Tom Berry, Kevin Wrafter, Padraig Corcoran, Shane Crombie.

Apologies: Michelle Mahon, Rhona Cloonan, Richard Egan, Michael Hanlon, Doreen Grimes

Meeting was chaired by Barbara Mahon, vice-chairperson, in the absence of Richard.

Niall O’Connell phoned in apologies.  He requested that we arrange a one-hour workshop which he will facilitate.  He stated that opinions on the priority list were very consistent.  From this information we will prepare a plan of campaign leading to action. The workshop was arranged for Wed 7th Nov at 8.00pm.  We need to notify all those present.

Fr John’s Farewell: Tickets on sale from Friday 2nd Nov.  They will be on sale after all Masses this weekend.  A rota was drawn up.  It was agreed that the clergy from other Christian Churches should be invited.
A policy will be drawn up by the PPC for future clerical farewells.

The meeting on Wednesday next will be the official PPC meeting for November. 
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Present: Richard Egan, Michelle Mahon, Barbara Mahon, Pat Kearns, Thomasz Askuntowicz, Tom Berry, Margaret Burke, Margaret Kelly, Genny Hassey, Shane Crombie, Rhona Cloonan, Doreen Grimes, Padraig Corcoran, Sean Heaney, Mary Larkin, Geraldine O’Toole-Leavy

Apologies: Carmel McGinn, Kevin Wrafter, Michael O’Hanlon, John Hannigan, Eilish Fogarty

Richard Egan welcomed everyone.

Minutes & Matters Arising: There were no matters arising.  Minutes were proposed by Michelle Mahon & seconded by Pat Kearns.

Fr John’s Farewell: Will take place in the Millennium Room in the Bridge House on Saturday 10th Nov at 9.00pm.  The format will be as follows: Prayer Service, food followed by music with”Rua”.  There will be a presentation (cash gift) from the parish and also a small momento.  Richard Egan will make the presentation.  People will be notified through the Bulletin, Tullamore notes in local papers and at Masses.  A sub-committee consisting of Rhona Cloonan, Barbara Mahon and Doreen Grimes, was formed to look after tickets for the night.  Tony McCormack will be asked to print tickets, which will be available through parish groups and at Sunday Masses prior to the event.  Cost €10.


Four Pillars: Niall O’Connell had met with the parish team.  Padraig spoke about Pillar 1 - challenging young people to engage with church as community; Shane on Pillar No 2, Margaret Kelly on Pillar No 3 and Margaret Burke on Pillar No 4.
Each member of the PPC was given a copy of the revised document and asked to prioritise the feed back targets for ‘08,’09 and ‘10.  The documents were then gathered and will be given to Niall, who will collate the results and return them to the PPC.  The aim is to have a policy document ready for Jan ‘08, which will have formulated a three-year plan with a strategy for action.  A draft document will be available for a special meeting on Thursday 1st Nov at 8.15pm.

AOB: Geraldine O’Toole Leavy spoke about an afternoon for married couples, in which she and her husband participated recently.  They found it an enriching experience.  Geraldine advocated a similar event for the parish.

This concluded the business of the meeting.

Next Meeting: Thursday 15th Nov, 8.15pm.

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Present: Richard Egan, Kevin Wrafter, Doreen Grimes, Barbara Mahon, Padraig Corcoran, Eilish Fogarty, Pat Kearns, John Hannigan, Geraldine O’Toole Leavy, Robert Holmes, Mary Larkin, Thomas Berry, Carmel McGinn, Margaret Kelly, Michael Hanlon, Tomasz Askuntowicz, Margaret Burke, Sean Heaney, Genny Hassey, Rhona Cloonan.

Apologies: Michelle Mahon, Shane Crombie

Richard Egan welcomed everyone and extended a special welcome to new members, Padraig Corcoran, Eilish Fogarty and Rhona Cloonan.

Minutes & Matters Arising: As no matters arose, the minutes were proposed by Mary Larkin & seconded by Barbara Mahon.

Evaluation Report: Niall O’Connell met with Sean, Padraig, Margaret Burke and Richard and presented his report on evaluation which took place in Court Hotel, 20th June 07.  Copies of the report were distributed to everyone.  Sean suggested that we read and discuss it at this meeting and the next two meetings, to prioritise three items from the four pillars.  The feedback from the  pillars was discussed and clarified.  It was agreed to have the report on the agenda for next meeting and Niall would attend.


John Nally’s Farewell: Disappointment was expressed at the departure of John.  It was felt that his work and contribution to the parish should be recognised.  Sean said that John would like to have an input along with Genny, for a liturgical celebration in Bridge House at the end of October or early November.  It was also agreed to make a presentation on the night.

AOB: A proposal to start our meetings at 8.15pm was suggested and agreed.
A number of courses in Theology and Pastoral Councils in action being offered by All Hallows.  Parish will subsidise cost.  Anyone interested to contact Sean.
Parking in church grounds - suggestion that a reminder be put in the Bulletin that cars are parked at their own risk.
Advertising Publication - two teachers from SHS have asked that an advertising publication from one of the mini-companies could be distributed through the boxes in the church.  They would donate a percentage of their profits to the parish centre.  After much discussion it was agreed to allow this to go ahead.
Letters of condolences to be sent to Fr Gerry & Fionnuala Doheny.
Letters of congratulations to Fr Lorenzo and the Fleadh Cheoil Committee.

This concluded the business of the meeting.

Next Meeting: 18th Oct 8.15pm
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Present: Margaret Kelly, Pat Kearns, Doreen Grimes, Barbara Mahon, Margaret Burke, Genny Hassey, John Hannigan, Richard Egan, Robert Holmes, Sean Heaney, Carmel McGinn, Shane Crombie, Kevin Wrafter, Geraldine O’Toole Leavy.

Apologies: John Nally, Michelle Mahon, Mary Larkin, Ann Starling.

Richard Egan took the chair and welcomed everyone.  Fr Sean apologised for the late notice re the meeting.

Minutes & Matters Arising
a) Re Choir for ordination - 40 people have come together to form a choir for Tony’s ordination, under the baton of Andreas.  Rehearsals are going very well.
b) Rhona Cloonan and Eilish Fogarty will join the PPC in September.  Ann Starling hasn’t received notification of last few meetings.

Report on Evaluation: Sean thanked all who attended the very successful evaluation session in the Court Hotel on 20th June.  Those present were given a synopsis of the evening.  The facilitator, Niall O’Connell, did an excellent job.  He will write up a full report on the evening which will be made available to all.  There will be an opportunity for discussion on the various points and suggestions made with the priorities outlined for the next three years under the four categories.  The report will be available for the first meeting in Sept.

The meeting broke for prayer.

Parish Centre: Fr Sean gave the update on the parish centre.  Contractor Town More Construction, CEO Keith Screeny.  Cost €1.9 million - the environmentally friendly heating system has added to the cost but it will be cost effective in the long run.  The Contractor will take possession of the site from Friday.  Work begins on Monday - the time frame for completion is 10 months.
The amount of money donated via envelopes has increased this week - time will tell whether this is a ‘once off’ or a trend.
The parish has €600,000 available for the project and it is hoped that the sale of Chapel St will realise a minimum of €200,000.  Hope to sell once the parish centre becomes available.  Application has been made for lottery funds but it is not possible for the Government to fund a parish directly.  However, it may be possible to access funding under support services provided by the parish.
Joan McMahon, whose house adjoins St Mary’s Hall, has been contacted and fully briefed on the project and has indicated she is very happy.  Fr Sean invited questions.

Selection of Chairperson & Vice-Chairperson: The excellent work of Mary Larkin as Chairperson for the past three years was acknowledged.  A vote of thanks to Mary was proposed by John Hannigan and seconded by Genny Hassey.  A letter of appreciation will be sent to Mary.  Fr Sean pointed out that Mary was continuing to serve on the PPC.
Richard Egan was proposed for the position of Chairperson by Doreen Grimes and seconded by John Hannigan.  Richard is willing to give the commitment the job commands.  He was selected as Chairperson.  Fr Sean thanked Richard for his generosity and wished him every success.
Barbara Mahon was proposed as Vice-Chairperson by Shane Crombie and seconded by Genny Hassey.  At first she refused and Carmel McGinn was proposed but refused.  Finally Barbara agreed and was selected as Vice-Chairperson.  Fr Sean welcomed her to the core group which meets a week prior to the meeting to draw up the agenda, etc.

AOB: 1.  Ordination - Shane Crombie raised the point of the parish giving a gift to Tony Gonoude for his ordination.  It was agreed that he should be given a cheque.  Finance will meet later this week and decide on a figure.
2.  Fleadh Ceoil - Fr Sean gave the background to the Fleadh Ceoil requesting the use of the Church for the bands competition.  He also outlined the conditions under which the church was made available: i no money collected at church doors; ii no drinks or food; iii proper stewarding, admission by ticket only.  There have been some very strong reactions to the use of the Church.  The background and conditions will be outlined in the Bulletin to help allay fears.  The vigil Mass on the Fleadh weekend will be a Youth Mass.  Masses will be on the hour on Sunday 26th, ie 8.00am-1.00pm.  The 11.00 will be in Irish and will be broadcast on Radio na Gaeltacha.  Tuesday 21st will be a multi-cultural night.  The Church will be the venue for this.  Food available in the Day Chapel - ethnic foods?  Could we make a small donation towards this to offset expenses?

Fr Sean thanked all for their work over the year and wished all a good summer.  The next meeting will be held in September which will be marked by a social occasion!

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Present: Mary Larkin, Doreen Grimes, Michelle Mahon, Pat Kearns, Sean Heaney, Tomasz Askuntowicz, Margaret Kelly, Richard Egan, Margaret Burke, Michael Hanlon, Carmel McGinn, John Hannigan, Tom Berry, Barbara Mahon, Kevin Wrafter, Geraldine O’Toole Leavy, Shane Crombie, Genny Hassey.

Apologies: John Nally, Robert Holmes

Meeting agreed to take update on the parish centre at this stage as Paddy Hughes was available.  He was welcomed by the Chairperson.
Paddy informed us that eight tenders have been received, seven of which have a fixed price basis.  The two lowest have been evaluated.  There are errors and omissions in the lowest.  Discussions are taking place and depending on the result, the lowest or the second lowest tender will be accepted, with a recommendation of why the lowest tender wasn’t accepted, if that is the case.  It is expected to make a recommendation by this day week.  Some discussion followed around the difference in percentage between the two lowest tenders and the reasons why.  The architect and quantity surveyor will make a report and recommendation, we will know the contractor and have a starting date.  Admin will meet to look at the proposal and Michelle Mahon, seconded by Richard Egan, proposed that the PPC will authorise Admin to accept whatever is recommended.  The cost of the building will exceed €1.5 million but it will be ‘state of the art’ and will be worth it.
Fr Sean thanked Paddy for his hard work over the year and hoped he would continue to be the contact person for the project.  He agreed to do so.  He will meet the architect once a month for a progress report.

Minutes & Matters Arising: 1.  New Bulletin - when will it be on stream?  Hopefully ready for Pentecost Sunday.
2.  New Missalette very good.  Suggestion that, if possible and at discretion of the celebrant, the Eucharistic Prayer printed in missalette would be used.

Prayer: Meeting broke for prayer.  Thanks were expressed for the Prayer and for the work done by Margaret & Genny in preparation for Confirmation.

PPC Evaluation: Shane gave input.  It is hoped to have an evaluation of our work in the parish over the last year - looking particularly at the four needs of our parish from the McGreil report as expressed by the Parishioners, ie young people; non-Irish; old & sick; those in irregular unions & those separated.  We need to look to the future and have a three-year plan - set goals for ourselves.  It is felt that the 18-35 year olds need particular attention.  Some discussion followed and it was suggested that people go away, think about the issues involved and perhaps put their ideas in writing on the four needs and we might address them.  These ideas to be handed into the office by 10th June.  It is hoped to hold the evaluation evening on 20th June in the Court Hotel, 7.00-9.00pm approx.  Facilitator to be Niall O’Connor (date & time to be confirmed with him).  All parish groups will be invited to participate.

AOB: i) Tony Gonoude’s Ordination will be on Sun 8th July at 3.00pm.  It is hoped to encourage a good attendance.  A combined choir will be formed.  His first Mass will be celebrated on Mon 9th July with the parish hosting a social evening in the Bridge House.  Finger food will be served.
ii) Fundraising for Parish Centre a priority.  A PPC member will speak at Masses in June - date to be arranged.
iii) New Members of PPC - Fr Sean invited two people, Eilish Fogarty and Brian Cloonan, to join.  Eilish hasn’t yet replied and either Brian or Rhona, his wife, will come on board.  It would be good to have a second Polish person who would be willing to attend the evaluation meeting - perhaps a Polish group could be set up which would articulate their needs.  Tomasz will organise someone.
iv) Churchyard Parking - something needs to be done.  When the building begins half the yard will be closed off.

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Present: Tomasz Askuntowicz, Pat Kearns, Sean Heaney, Margaret Kelly, Richard Egan, Margaret Burke, Michael Hanlon, Genny Hassey, Doreen Grimes, John Nally.

Apologies: Carmel McGinn, Michelle Mahon, Robert Holmes, Mary Larkin, John Hannigan, Tom Berry, Barbara Mahon, Kevin Wrafter, Geraldine O’Toole Leavy.

All were welcomed by Richard Egan, who chaired in the absence of the Chairperson.

Minutes & Matters Arising: Query re No 4 - why €500x2 payments to Venus.  Just decided to make €500 available immediately followed by second donation.
Re No 8 - English classes for New Irish Nationals - looking for a teacher.  Hope to have classes up and running by June.
Re Good Friday - very positive feedback for Interchurch Way of the Cross.  Thanks to all who were involved in Holy Week & Easter ceremonies.
Blessing of Food - huge crowd of Polish people.  Tomasz explained how important this custom is to Polish people.

Parish Centre Update: Report given by Pat Kearns.  Tenders have gone out.  Closing date 9th May.  The tenders will be opened on that day in the Architect’s office.  A shower will be installed in the disabled toilet.  There is still a question mark of the type of heating most suitable.  A meeting will be held on Monday to decide what type is most appropriate.  The direct debit was not successful; the weekly envelope average is up - anything above the average will be directed to the building fund.  254 tax rebate forms sent out, 85 returned.  It was felt this system needs to be explained when the tender and a starting date is sorted out.  Speakers will address congregation at various Masses to explain how tax rebate works.


Parish Bulletin: Fr Sean had a sample of what the new parish bulletin will look like - template printed by Print Plus, A3 size.  Page 1 Reflection; page 2 for community notices; page 3 parish events; page 4 information re the Polish community, as well as births, deaths, marriage.  We pay Print Plus for paper.  Special occasions, ie Christmas & Easter full colour done by Print Plus.  We need to invest in a machine to print A3 and fold.  We will be on stream when the machine arrives.  Tony McCormack will work with Noeleen initially.  The meeting sent compliments to Noeleen on her work on the Bulletin to date.  The new Bulletin will be printed on Friday morning.  The PPC also commended the excellent work done on the website.  We may be ready with new Bulletin by the next meeting.  There were positive comments on the new missalette.

Training Course Report: Defer until Mary Larkin is present.

AOB: 1.  ‘Thank you’ to be sent to speaker from ACCORD.
2.  Letter to Declan McSweeney wishing him the best of luck in the future.
3.  Memorial for Fiona Pender - Sean will speak with Josephine Pender - a small piece of sculpture is what is in question.  Fiona will continue to be remembered in the Bulletin.
4.  Need to look at a successor to Mary as Chairperson.  Some discussion took place.  Richard is the vice-chair and as such could continue as Chairperson.  Doreen proposed that Richard be next Chairperson, 2nd by Pat Kearns.  Commitment and availability are important.
The following points were made and proposed by Richard: a) might be a good time to have an evening of evaluation with a facilitator; b) could include liturgy & admin groups - have a special day, outline areas we want to cover.
5.  Admin drew up a proposal re parish centre which Fr Sean presented to An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, during his visit to Tullamore.
6.  What is the possibility of a regular chaplain to represent the interest of the Polish people.  It is hoped to set up a Polish group - certainly needs to be looked at in the light of 1st Communion and Confirmation children.

This concluded the business of the meeting.

Next Meeting: Thursday 17th May at 8.00pm.  

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Present: Mary Larkin, Tomasz Askuntowicz, Carmel McGinn, Pat Kearns, Sean Heaney, Margaret Kelly, Robert Holmes, Michelle Mahon, John Hannigan, Geraldine O’Toole-Leavy, Richard Egan, Tom Berry, Genny Hassey.

Apologies: Barbara Mahon, Kevin Wrafter, Michael Hanlon, Margaret Burke.

All were welcomed by the Chairperson Mary Larkin.

Minutes & Matters Arising:  1.  Constitutions: Pressure of work hasn’t permitted the group to meet.  It was decided to leave it for the moment.
2.  Radio for Church: The company involved is Logic Communications Unicat, Gormagh, Durrow.  Contact person, Tom Burke, 9352560.
3.  Graves - In future it is hoped that headstones will be within the parameters of grave specifications.
4.  Funding as requested by Venus.  Request passed on to Finance.  €1000 granted - two payments of €500.
5.  €100 granted to Junior PPC.
6.  The whole concept of Taize Prayer and Sacred Dance needs a greater explanation.  The Bulletin could be used in the future for this purpose.
7.  Elderly - they need ongoing support.  The Mass of the Sick at 2.00pm on the Monday of Holy Week will cater for them to some degree.
8. Non Irish Nationals: Fr John has been in contact with Brazilians, 38 of whom are interested in English language classes organised by Knights of Columbanus.  The parish were to provide a venue for their classes but cannot accommodate 38 at once.  Negotiations are in progress to investigate the possibility of providing classes twice a week thereby dividing the group.
Fr Sean reported that the Monika from Poland, had made an appeal at Sunday Masses for blind children in India and was amazed at the response from the Parish - over €5500.
9.  ACCORD: Speakers coming to talk about their work at Masses - date to be decided.

Update on Parish Centre:  Six contractors will be invited to tender for the job.  Hope to begin early in May.  There seems to be some confusion around standing orders.  Someone will speak at Masses at a future date to clarify things.  Fr Sean informed the meeting that the parish accounts had shown a surplus this year.  It was suggested that 12 extra envelopes be included in the boxes next year to encourage parishioners to donate to the parish centre.
Re. Memorial to Fiona Pender - a small piece of sculpture is what is being considered rather than a window.  Josephine Pender will talk to Fr Sean.

Prayer:  Following the prayer, Mary Larkin reminded those present that her term of office is up in June and asked that people begin to consider who would take the Chair in September.

Communications Update: Tony McCormack will print an A3 sheet with colour heading etc leaving boxes to be filled in by the parish.  A graphic designer will meet the sub-committee.  New Bulletin won’t be ready for Easter but will be available shortly afterwards.  A full colour Bulletin will be printed for special occasions.  A machine capable of running A3 paper will need to be purchased.

Good Friday Ceremonies: Genny reported.  10.00am Morning Prayer; 12.00 Inter-Church Way of the Cross - different route this year, the Cross being carried from Kilbride car park to O’Connor Sq.  We need volunteers, male and female, to carry the cross and to act as stewards; 3.00pm & 7.30pm ceremonies in Church.

AOB: i) Arden View Community Centre - gratitude expressed in their newsletter for support from the parish far their fundraising night.

The concluded the business of the meeting.

Next Meeting: 19th April 2007.  Core Group meeting 12th at 8.00pm.
The Chairperson wished all present a very happy Easter.

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Michelle Mahon, Doreen Grimes, Barbara Mahon, Margaret Burke, Tomasz Askuntowicz, Sean Heaney, Mary Larkin Troy, Shane Crombie, Pat Kearns, John Hannigan, Robert Holmes, Kevin Wrafter, Tom Berry, John Nally, Genny Hassey, Margaret Kelly.

Richard Egan, Carmel McGinn, Michael Hanlon.

The Chairperson welcomed all to the meeting.  Fr Sean introduced Tomasz who comes from Poland and has kindly agreed to serve on the PPC.

Minutes & Matters Arising:
No matters arising.

Constitution & Mission Statement:
Those working on this area are not ready to report and requested that this matter be left for the moment since there is so much happening in the Parish.  This was agreed.


Parish Centre: i) Update -
Fr Sean gave the report.  The design team is working well.  It is hoped to go to tender within the next two weeks.  The ‘mail shot’ is currently being distributed throughout the Parish by the TY students from the Sacred Heart School and Colaiste Choilm.  There was some discussion around the possibility of including a memorial window to Fiona Pender in the prayer room - nothing was agreed.  The heating system will be environmentally friendly and will be under floor.  The estimated cost of the centre is €1.5 million approx - the parish has €.5 million leaving a shortfall of €1million.
ii) Fundraising -
The sub-committee working on fundraising consider requesting parishioners to contribute €5 per week for a period of five years as the best option.  It is envisaged to speak on fundraising at all the Masses but it seems this will not happen until after Easter because of various programmes and special liturgies, ‘Do this in Memory’, Confirmation, etc.  Offering the facility of standing orders and the promotion of the tax rebate scheme should be a great help.
Decision: To launch fundraising on 11th March.  A notice to appear in the Bulletin and on the parish website the previous week.  It could be mentioned at Masses when the notices are being read.  It will appear in the Bulletin for a number of weeks.  It is also hoped to run a major golf classic in Tullamore & Esker Hills golf clubs in 2008.  The target of this event would be in the region of €100,000.

Communications Update:
Sean reported.  A sample bulletin was available which was put together by a graphic designer.  Suggested two colours, blue & black.  It is hoped to have a meeting of the communications sub-group shortly.  The aim is to launch the new format on Easter Sunday.

i) House Radio

for reception of church ceremonies, available from Kilroys, at a cost of €25-30.
ii) Grave Prices -
recommendation from Pat Kearns, Chairman Administration Group, that the price of graves increase to €300 for a single plot and €500 for a double.  This to apply also to Durrow.  A sympathetic hearing will be given to anyone who may have difficulty in paying this amount.  This was proposed by Kevin Wrafter, seconded by Michelle Mahon.  This issue of the size of gravestones was raised.  Size has to be kept within the parameters of the grave.  Long term plan for the cemetery is to build a road around the parameter.
iii) Request from Venus Guibone for funding -
this was raised at a Finance committee meeting but the letter requesting funding wasn’t available.  John Hannigan asked for a copy to be given to Finance Chairman, Tadhg O’Brien, for the next meeting, when the matter will receive attention.  It was also suggested to put the letter on the website - a line in the Bulletin could direct people to same.
iv) McGreil Report - 4 Priority Areas, Work to date
Young people - Junior PPC working well.  They are currently working the church notice boards.  They are requesting €50 to finance materials for their work.  John Hannigan suggested increasing this amount to €100.  This was ratified by PPC.  A letter will go to Finance & Administration groups.
The young people would like to contribute in some way to Tony Gonoude’s ordination.
John will be offering the Youth Alpha Course to the 6th year boys in Colaiste Choilm on Monday next.  The course will run over nine weeks.
Shane will start a Taize Prayer Group on the Fridays of Lent at 8.00pm.  While it is open to all ages, it is primarily aimed at young people.
b) The Elderly - John has been in contact with the various groups catering for the needs of the older parishioners.  Some discussion took place around a parish week of the elderly, culminating with a liturgical celebration.
c) ‘New Irish’ - A new language is a problem. 
The Knights of Columbanus are anxious to offer some help in this regard but do not wish to cut across what is already in place.  The VEC offer courses but Tomasz pointed out that these classes are too big and 1½ hours per week is insufficient to be of benefit.  John will investigate the situation further.
Sean reported that a Polish Priest has been appointed to the Diocese.  He will celebrate Mass on the 4th Sunday of each month and will be available for marriage preparation, baptisms, confessions, etc.  A Polish girl, Monika, is currently preparing post primary students from Poland for Confirmation.  It is also hoped to allot a section in the new Bulletin to the ‘New Irish’.
d) We need to arrange speakers at the Masses during awareness of Accord.
Some discussion took place re a liturgy for engaged couples around Valentine’s Day.  This to be put on the Liturgy agenda.
We must also be aware of people who are separated and see how we can assist them.

Sean will address the Council of Priests in the near future on the action we, as parish, have taken on the McGreil report.

This concluded the business of the meeting.

Next Meeting: 22nd March, 8.00pm.

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Present: Michelle Mahon, John Hannigan, Mary Larkin, Michael Hanlon, John Nally, Carmel McGinn, Barbara Mahon, Pat Kearns, Shane Crombie, Margaret Burke, Genny Hassey, Tom Berry, Fr Anek Namwong.

Apologies: Margaret Kelly, Richard Egan, Kevin Wrafter.

The Chairperson welcomed all to the first meeting of 2007.  Fr John introduced and welcomed Fr Anek who is from Thailand and is helping in the parish at the moment.

Minutes & Matters Arising: No matters arising.

Review of 2006: A most comprehensive report on work done from Feb-Dec 06 was given by Fr John.  Items outstanding, constitution and mission statement were left to be dealt with later.


McGreil Report Review: 4 Priority Areas - Work to date
Priority 1, Young People: The Junior PPC was set up in response to this in Sept 06.  There are 18 members - all 1st years - mixture of boys and girls from four post primary schools.  They meet on the 2nd Friday of each month.  To date they have worked on the Church notice boards; formed sub groups of liturgy, church environment, family Mass.  The Church environment group has been involved with the adult group in church decoration for Advent & Christmas.  The group took responsibility for Evening Prayer in 3rd Sunday of Advent and were involved in family Mass etc.
Plans for the future?  Involvement in Taize Prayer group which will operate in Lent; a questionnaire on religious practice among 1st years; request for permission to paint church notice boards.  They need to write to Admin & Finance groups.
The Junior PPC need to be commissioned - perhaps at Family Mass.

Priority 2, Elderly: There are several organisations in the town for older citizens - Ready (30 members meet every Tues, members dropping); TARA (membership on the increase, meet every Wed); Probis (for retired business & professional); Day Care Centre and meals-on-wheels.
Suggestion: To bring all the groups together for a celebration liturgy.  This will also raise awareness.  Decided to keep this on the agenda.  Refer all this to communications group - highlight above in Bulletin.

Priority 3: There is much being done in the parish to promote ecumenism.  The four churches have worked together on an Alpha course which went very well.  Evening prayer was held Sunday for Church Unity Octave and was very successful.
Shane & Genny were present at the Muslim celebration held in the Rugby Club.
There is a big effort to reach out to foreign nationals.  A Polish priest has been appointed to the diocese of Meath.  It is hoped that he will regularly celebrate Mass for the Polish community.  There is a Mass in Portugese for the Brazilian community once a month.
The Knights of Columbanus are willing to put a resource in place which would allow foreign nationals to learn English, free of charge.  As Church, it would be good to be to the fore in assisting in this venture.  Michael Hanlon has contact with a Polish person who has good English and could be of help.
Sgt Dooley, of the Gardai, is the liaison officer for ethnic groups and has approached Shane to make contact with the Polish and other communities to assure them that if they need help from the Gardai, it is available.
Shane also suggested contacting the Irish College in Rome where there are Polish priests who may be available to help out in the summer.  It was agreed that we write to the College.  Proposed by Shane, seconded by John Nally.

Priority 4: How do we offer support in such situations.  It was felt that we do no have the expertise to work in this area.  To assist us, two members of ACCORD, Anne & Helen, addressed the PPC on their work.  This was an excellent presentation.  It was decided to try and raise awareness of the work of ACCORD, especially during their national campaign, through the Bulletin and by having a speaker at Masses.

Training & Related Issues: Leave to next meeting.

No news on the parish centre - copies of mail shot on same were available and are excellent.  How do we circulate?  Suggestion - enclose in local papers.

AOB: I) Permission sought by Special Olympics to use the church for a Liam Lawton concert 20th Feb.
II) Request from Venus Guibone for finance for building a church.  Decided to send on to Finance with a recommendation from PPC to look favourably on the request.  Suggestion that a) it be mentioned in the Bulletin; b) give the Sunday collection to the project.
III) Sympathy was extended to Mary Larkin on the death of her husband at Christmas.
IV) Fr John will attend Youth Alpha.
V) Congratulations to all concerned on the effect being made to reach out to young people in the liturgy.
This concluded the business of the meeting.

Next meeting: Thurs 22 Feb, 8.00pm.

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