Ardboe Parish Pastoral Council feel ‘Share the Joy of the Gospel’ the diocesan pastoral plan has been a source of both reassurance and inspiration in relation to the activities the parish pastoral council in Ardboe have taken and will discern in the future in the areas of Mission and Outreach, Spirit Filled Worship and Understanding our faith.
We are reassured that much of what we were already doing in the parish meets elements of the pastoral plan, such as our focus on Eucharistic Adoration, finding ways to enhance our liturgies so that ‘touching the scared’ takes place in a way that engages all our senses, and a Ministry of prayer.
Some highlights for our parish this year included renewing the parish pastoral council membership, We also marked 24 Hours for the Lord during Lent on 3/4th March. We had Eucharistic Adoration for 24 hours, 12 hours in each of our parish churches. Every hour volunteers led devotion, such as reciting a Rosary, leading Stations of the Cross, Angelus etc. The sacrament of reconciliation was available at times during the 24 hour period. Large numbers took part, many keeping watch in the early hours and it was indeed a grace filled experience for all who organised and attended.
Encouraging pilgrimage during the Year of Mercy led to a number of highlights with parish trips organised to Knock, Lough Derg, Lourdes, Medugorje, culminating with a trip to the Holy Land in October.
Our pilgrimage at ‘home’ on the 14th August in our own pastoral area of St Colman’s saw the parish councils of Clonoe, Coalisland and Ardboe come together to plan a ‘Camino of Mercy’. Travelling by bus, bike and car, hundreds of pilgrims visited nine of the sacred places and spaces in our pastoral area, taking part in special liturgies in each place. The camino culminated on the shore of Lough Neagh at St Colman’s Abbey and Old Cross in Ardboe. The feedback from so many who attended let us know that it was indeed a ‘spirit filled’ day!
All that has happened this past year has given us great encouragement as a pastoral council to continue to find ways to enliven the faith in our parish.