This Diocesan Pastoral Plan is the fruit of eighteen months of consultation and refinement with Parish Pastoral Councils, Pastoral Area Resource Teams, the Diocesan Pastoral Council and its Executive and Commissions, the Clergy Conference and the Council of Priests, and many other diocesan agencies.

It does not include everything, merely three important areas for special pastoral attention. It offers five objectives in each area, which will guide us in our pastoral ministry for the next five years. Key to its implementation will be its ability to inform local decisions in parishes, particularly by our Parish Pastoral Councils.

I therefore ask each Parish Pastoral Council to select each year, one objective from each of the three areas, and to make a concerted effort to find new and creative ways to address those objectives, as are appropriate for your local parish situation. Where neighbouring parishes in a Pastoral Area choose the same objectives, it might well be beneficial to liaise with your Resource Team or to combine forces; this will be a discussion for your PARTs.

A good plan must be monitored and evaluated, so I am asking the Office of Pastoral Renewal and Family Ministry to collate what parishes are working on, and to coordinate support for parishes and Pastoral Areas in making these objectives a reality.

+Eamon

Archbishop of Armagh

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