Minutes of meetings for 2005

Minutes of (P.P.C.) meeting Thursday 8th December 2005

Minutes of (P.P.C.) meeting Tuesday 18th October 2005

Minutes of (P.P.C.) meeting Tuesday 14thSeptember 2005

Minutes of (P.P.C.) meeting Tuesday 14th June 2005

Minutes of meeting Monday 16th May 2005

Minutes of meeting Monday 11th April 2005

Minutes of meeting Tuesday 7th March 2005

Minutes of meeting Tuesday 8th February 2005

Minutes of (P.P.C.) meeting Monday 16th May 2005

Matters discussed / Decisions

Child Protection Policy:

Liam welcomed Hilary Kenny from Ballyroan Parish to the meeting to discuss her experience of child protection issues in her parish. Hilary has a strong background in child protection education and training. This P.P.C. is in the early stages of exploring options for developing a protection policy within the Parish of Blessington and is seeking to find out the issues involved in doing so.
Hilary summarised her main points
• The welfare of the child is paramount.
• Everyone has a moral obligation to take action if a child may be in danger. This applies not just to Parish activities but to any information about children, however acquired.
• Start with Policies – broad over-arching statements.
• Flesh out into procedures, including clear allocation of responsibilities.
• Review practice regularly, because practice often deviates from laid-down procedures.
• Involve everyone in developing policies, procedures and practices, to ensure buy-in.

When children are well protected, adults too are protected. In Hilary’s experience adults are more likely to volunteer to work with children when this protection is established for all parties.
Hilary recommended that as a first step we should contact Archbishops house and put our Parish on training register. The Diocese is planning cascade training to come on stream in the medium term. It will eventually be mandatory for Parishes to have child protection policies, and it is advisable for this group to plan ahead and develop a policy to suit our requirements.
Finally, Fr Tim recommended an overall policy of care to cover all vulnerable groups in the Parish, including for example the elderly

Minutes of 11th April 2005 taken as read and approved.

Matters arising
Liam and Sally visited the working group in Kilcullen who have been meeting to establish a P.P.C. for Kilcullen Parish. The meeting went well and hopefully the sharing of our experiences will be helpful to them in their decision making. Some of the questions posed on the night caused us to reflect on our own situation, particularly the subject of recruitment of P.P.C. members.

Communion 2005 review
The 2 Communion ceremonies on 14th May went very well. Despite their being 2 Masses, there was no obvious rush. The car park was well organised. Each child received a gift on behalf of the whole class on their return to school. This was arranged to limit the practice of children exchanging envelopes at the actual ceremony.

Re 2006 ‘Do this in Memory’ Program:
At last months meeting it was recorded that a parent information meeting might take place in September. Fr Tim is keen that this should happen before the summer break, in view of the amount of preparation. It is also recommended that Betty should be a liaison person between Mass organising groups and Church and school. This will ensure continuity and consistent communication.

The Gospel reading for 22nd May – Trinity Sunday, was read and discussed.

P.P.C. Booklet
No report from Carmel D. or Sally at this meeting. Gene to study booklet and report back at next meeting

• Teresa welcomed back after her absence from meetings due to study commitments.
• Suggest reaching out to exam students. Perhaps a gift of bookmark with student’s prayer.
Many thanks to Cemetery Committee for all the work put into organising Cemetery Sunday on 15th May 2005

Next Meeting
Tuesday 14th June at 8.30pm in the crying room. Last meeting before summer break

Gospel for following Sunday

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Minutes of (P.P.C.) meeting Monday 11th April 2005

Matters discussed / Decisions

1. The meeting opened with the P.P.C prayer. Liam then welcomed Betty Murphy the new pastoral worker to the group.

2. Minutes of 7th March taken as read and approved.

Matters arising
• Liam attended the launch of a booklet, ‘A Handbook for Parish Pastoral Councils’. He has 2 copies which may be passed around the group. Please give feedback on content and ideas to this group.

Do This in Memory course.
First Mass went well. Preparations are underway for upcoming second Mass. Fr Tim suggested meeting before summer for next years parents. This may not be well attended with parents not yet focused on Communion 2006. Best call a meeting early September with preparatory organisation done. Arrange with Gerry Browne to add €5 charge to booklists for material expenses.

Child Protection Policy.
o Details of guidelines available on cps.dublindiocese.ie
o Lisa reported that Ballyroan Parish have a trained and designated person to deal with child protection issues. It was suggested that she would be invited to address our next meeting so we may be further informed as how to best proceed with developing a policy for Blessington Parish. Fr Tim expressed the hope that any care guidelines devised by the Parish may not only focus on children , but all vulnerable groups in the community.

3. Review of Lenten Program:
Was a worthwhile venture, even if attendance could have been better. Better to have mentally stimulating spiritual content, rather than try and draw in crowds with a personality speaker. The program was arranged in a rushed fashion. Next year there should be adequate time to select good speakers on chosen topics.

4. A.O.B
• John Martin form the newly formed Kilcullen Pastoral council has been in touch requesting representation from our group to talk to their council regarding our experience of developing a P.P.C. Liam and Sally to attend upcoming meeting.

• Betty Murphy reported that Parish visitations have started. So far she feels well received. If householders are not interested they say so. A handbook is being developed for new residents. It will include an insert with contact names and numbers.

• Congratulations on the children’s Easter ceremonies – The Passion play and Stations of the Cross.

• Liam wished to formally record the recent passing of Pope John Paul II and its impact on the community in Blessington. His death has touched many people in different ways. The Ecumenical Vigil held in Church of Our Lady, on the eve of his burial was a very special event in both Parishes. The fact that it came about so seamlessly at short notice is a testament to the relationship and cooperation between both Parishes that has been developed over the years. There has been a lot of positive feedback about the vigil. It was also noted that the school spent much time and effort highlighting the life and times of the Pope with the school children.

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Minutes of (P.P.C.) meeting Tuesday 7th March 2005

Minutes of 8th February reviewed.

Matters arising
Acknowledgement received from Archbishop Martin. Pastoral Council guidelines approved – ad experimentum. Names of council members were omitted from document and have been requested.
Launch of Pastoral Council booklet in Clonliffe College on 8th March 2005. Liam to attend.

‘ Do this in Memory’:
Sub group met with parent volunteers and organised working groups for 3 Masses to deal with practical arrangements for Masses. The 1st Mass took place on 6th March. There were some hitches during the celebration which arose from incomplete communication between all parties. However the attendance was excellent and everything seems to have been well received by the families involved.
Looking forward to the next Mass in April, certain improvements may be made
• Caroline Finan may be able to provide music
• Safer housing of candles.
• Involved P.P.C. members to assist in overall co-ordination to ensure smooth running. Carmel expressed opinion that the fuller program would benefit from 1 overall co-ordinator as well as individual Mass co-ordinators.

The Gospel reading for 13th March was read and discussed by the group.

Child Protection Policy:
A copy of a Child protection policy and guidelines drawn up by Ashbourne Parish was circulated for consideration. There were differing views amongst those present about the requirement and extent of a potential policy document for Blessington Parish. It was felt that there were insufficient persons present to discuss in depth, and additional resources would be required to move this issue forward. Perhaps consider a suitable facilitator who may be able to address a meeting of invited community group representatives and see where such a discussion would lead. It will be tabled for later discussion.

Easter 2005
8pm time slot for ceremonies during Easter week. Saturday Vigil Mass at 8pm. Sunday 11am Mass to change to 11.15am.

• Hugo reported on a Pastoral Care Ministries conference he has recently attended in Nyborg, Denmark.
• Betty Murphy from Westpark has been appointed as Pastoral Worker on a 3 month trial. She will visit new estates with a brochure on the parish and a questionnaire. She will be invited onto Pastoral Council to share information regarding her work.
• With view to introducing a Missionary element to the Website, Sr Rebecca Conlon (a sister of Pat Conlon of Oak Drive) has been contacted by Fr Tim with view to sharing information about her work as a Columban Missionary in Pakistan. She was delighted to be invited to contribute to our web site. It is envisaged that through her, liaisons may be established between schools here and in her area of work in Pakistan.
• The Parish site in the school yard will be auctioned on 16th March.
• Constitution to be published on web
• Fr Tim has introduced a new prayer (from recent Confirmation Ceremony) which may be adopted by the Pastoral council as their opening prayer.

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Minutes of meeting Tuesday 8th February 2005

Matters discussed / Decisions

Carmel Dillon representing Manor Kilbride introduced herself to the group as a new P.P.C. member.

Minutes of 14th December taken as read

Matters arising

• P.P.C. Guidelines: In the absence of any amendments notified to Liam after draft guidelines discussed at December 2004 meeting, the finalised document is ready for forwarding to Archbishop’s House.
Other matters arising on agenda for discussion.

Do this in Memory:
Following meeting with teachers and subsequent meeting with parents of first Communion children, the pilot program will run on the following dates:

6th March Week 6 of “Do This In Memory Programme” 11am Mass
14th April First Confessions
17th April Week 8 of “Do This In Memory Programme” 11am Mass
11th May Family Mass before First Eucharist 7.30pm
14th May First Eucharist Celebration
29th May Feast of Corpus Christi 11am Mass

Parents who attended Communion meeting on 7th February were surveyed as to their opinions on the following: (final results from a total of 68 respondents)
1. Willingness to help with program
Yes 47% No 53%

2. Preference for 1 or 2 Communion Masses held on the same morning:
1 Mass 35%, 2 Masses 59% , Undecided 6%

3. Suggestion for donation of some Communion money by children to worthy cause
Yes 54%, No 41%, Undecided 5%

4. Wearing of albs at future First Communions:
Yes 34%, No 62%, Undecided 4%
This is a consultative process, and will be taken into account when final consultation and decisions are made with the teachers.

The Gospel reading for 13th February was read and discussed by the group. Wide ranging opinions and interesting debate.

Lent 2005
Series of ecumenical talks have been arranged as below
Tuesday 15th February
Who is Jesus Christ?
Presented by Fr. Joe Kavanagh
Tuesday 22nd February
Meeting Jesus Today
Presented by Mary Hendrick
Tuesday 1st March
Jesus & Healing
Presented by Canon Stanley Baird
Tuesday 8th March
Jesus Suffering & Bereavement
Presented by Canon Neil McEndoo
Tuesday 15th March
Jesus & Conversion
Presented by Fr. John Littleton

Format for all talks will be:
Speaker for 20 minutes approx
Break for Tea/Coffee
Question & Answer Session
All concluded within ONE HOUR

• Hugo will be independently attending a healing conference in Denmark. He was wished well for his trip and may report back items of interest to the group.
• The stained glass project designed by Turlough O’Donnell will soon be installed. The theme of the design is sunrise to sunset.
• Carmel praised the recent Pre-Confirmation ceremony.
Fr Tim spoke of the need for a part-time pastoral worker for the parish, to address some of the tasks the priests are unable to get around to because of their workload (e.g. visitation). The P.P.C. was in agreement to advertising a salaried position in an upcoming newsletter. The ideal applicant would have a commitment to the church, have a local knowledge and be open to training. If an ideal candidate is recruited the position would be subject to a 6 month trial.

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Minutes of (P.P.C.) meeting Tuesday 14th June 2005

Meeting room, Our Lady’s Church

Fr. Tim, Fr Kevin, Liam Fay, Sally Joyce, Ann Creighton, Betty Murphy, Valerie Hamilton, Michael O’Connell, Gene Gilheany, Muriel O’Neill, Mary Young, Carmel Dillon, Carmel O’Donovan,, Teresa Ball.

Lisa Charles, Hugo Magee

Liam Fay

Sally Joyce

Matters discussed / Decisions Action to be taken /
Action by
Liam opened the meeting by congratulating Fr. Kevin and Fr. Tim on their new roles in the parish. Fr. Tim was welcomed as the new President of the Pastoral Council.

Minutes of 16/05/05
Matters arising on this meeting agenda. See below.

• Catholic Youth Council Youth Care, ‘Spirit of Summer Program’ to be held in Glendalough. This was received too late to be advertised in the parish. However any future CYC activities can be advertised in the newsletter.
• Fourth Day Movement newsletter received. This is a resource available to Parish Pastoral Councils.
• Renewal day for P.P.C.’s 1 day workshop in November. €25/delegate or €200 for a P.P.C. group of 18.

Mary to contact for further information and to book a group so whoever wishes to go will be accommodated.

Child Protection Policy:
Mary has contacted Archbishops House about training. Places were offered on a training course this coming weekend which was too short notice. Organisers will get back to us as more training becomes available. There was much discussion about a general case policy for all groups at risk within the parish community. The idea of a help line or designated care officer is not a simple matter to establish. The subgroup will start discussions about establishing a child protection policy in the first instance, and may widen brief as more knowledge is gained.

Do This in Memory
Meeting with parents on 15/06/05 to introduce program for 2006. The first Sunday will be 25th September 2005. Subsequent dates are not yet known as the program pack is not yet published.
Will program replace Family Mass? Suggest Family Mass on 1st Sunday of month. Discuss again in September.
The Folk Mass could be developed into a Youth Mass, to offer more inclusion to post primary pupils.

• Review of Gospel
‘ Be Not Afraid’ – (Matthew)
• Handbook for Pastoral Council
Reviewed by Gene. Gives comprehensive backgrounds to formation and ideology of P.P.C.’s. Recommended reading.

• P.P.C. AGM Annual General Meeting.
Put on September agenda – Schedule for October 2005.

• Blessington Overseas is up and running on website. Very interesting introduction by Sr. Rebecca Conlon to her life in Pakistan. Highly recommended.
The website wishes to host any person(s) associated with Blessington who are engaged in interesting activities around the world, pastoral or otherwise, who wish to share their experiences. Muriel will approach a friend who runs an Aids Hospice in Africa.

• 34 booked for ecumenical pilgrimage to Glendalough on 18/06/05.

• Fr. Kevin was presented with a gift from the group in recognition of his work as P.P. and as president of the PPC.

Date of next meeting Tuesday 13th September.

Topic – Review of Gospel 18/09/05

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Minutes of (P.P.C.) meeting Tuesday 14thSeptember 2005

Meeting room, Our Lady’s Church

Fr. Tim, Liam Fay, Sally Joyce, Ann Creighton, Betty Murphy, Gene Gilheany, Muriel O’Neill, Mary Young, Carmel O’Donovan, Teresa Ball, Lisa Charles, Hugo Magee

Fr Kevin

Liam Fay

Sally Joyce

Matters discussed / Decisions
Liam welcomed back the group after the summer break.
Minutes of 14th June 2005
• The 3 young people sponsored on the World youth Day event have had a successful trip and have conveyed their thanks.
• 34 travelled on Ecumenical Pilgrimage to Glendalough on 18/06/05 – very worthwhile.
• P.P.C. Renewal day booked for November. Date to be confirmed. Up to 18 places available for those who wish to go.

• ‘Do This in Memory’.
First Mass on 25th September. A group of volunteer parents have had a meeting and preparations are underway.

Child Protection Policy:
• Niall Fallon who is a community Welfare Officer was invited to the meeting by Fr Tim to share information relating to protection issues. Currently there is no Community Protection officer based in Blessington. The H.S.E. Senior Social Worker based in Naas is the Designated Person for the Blessington area if abuse is suspected and needs to be reported. Reporting of abuse is mandatory. The Social Worker guarantees that any reported matters will be looked into. There is no further report back to the person making the report about the outcome of any investigation for confidentiality reasons.
The Government has set up a Child Protection Training Unit in Citywest. Niall suggested that a representative of this unit could be requested to organise a community information meeting.
Niall was thanked for his input and would be welcomed back for further discussions as the issue is moved forward.
• Check out www.cps.dublindiocese.ie where a monthly news letter on child protection issues can be accessed.
• Our Children – Our Church.
Children Protection document currently being ratified in Rome

Gospel 18/09/05 discussed. ‘The last shall be first, and the first last’
Bishop Eamonn Walsh's visit on 28th September.
Arrangements are in place.

A.G.M. of Parish Pastoral Council
Brief discussion. A.G.M. would essentially be a Parish Assembly (Fr Tim). Schedule for Tuesday 8th November. Discuss format at next P.P.C. meeting

• Archbishop s Appeal re aid for Louisiana hurricane victims. P.P.C. members favour a general Church collection at Masses of Sunday 9th October. Stress to contributors that aid will be passed from Dublin Archdiocese directly to Churches for distribution in whatever form is deemed appropriate.
• ‘Confirming our Children’ - Muriel has information on program and will make a presentation to the group at the next meeting.

• Dates for 2006 ceremonies
Confirmation Tuesday 7th March
First Holy Communion Saturday 13th May

• Correspondence from following groups re training and ongoing formation
Alpha and Cells
St Patrick’s Mission
25th Anniversary of Church in Blessington approaching. Start giving thought to suitable celebratory event(s) – Consider a Mission.

Date of next meeting Tuesday 18th October 8.30pm in Church Meeting Room

Topic – Review of Gospel for Sunday 23rd October.

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Minutes of (P.P.C.) meeting Tuesday 18th October 2005

Matters discussed / Decisions

Minutes of 14th September 2005 were read

Matters arising:
• The 3 young people sponsored on the W.Y.D. have written an account of the trip and it is forwarded on to the website(could also include them in talks at the parish A.G.M.)
• “Do this in memory” is on going

C.C.P. update from subgroup
The group gave an account of their last meeting and handed Fr Tim a draft document of C.P. guidelines and also a sample statement and code of conduct for Blessington Parish. There were still some concerns about parts of the draft guidelines and it was agreed that the subgroup would meet again to discuss it further.

Gospel 23.10.05 discussed “you must love your neighbour as yourself.

A.G.M. of P.P.C. Tuesday 8th November
Suggestions for Agenda
o Time 8pm
o Give account of P.P.C.
o Welcome
o Introduce members
o Find a slot for W.Y.D. group
o We have set work in progress for C. P. Guidelines
o Election of Group
o Possible Talk from a Parish Worker from Barna in Galway
o Contact existing members whether they wish to remain on the committee
o On the night sign names on a sheet if they wish to join
o Head hunt people
o For 12 months
o 10 meetings

Renewal Day for P.P.C. 18th November
• 6 definite places
• Book 12 places

Correspondence from C.Y.C - invitation to an open evening to launch 4 new initiatives to develop young people’s faith.

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Minutes of (P.P.C.) meeting Thursday 8th December 2005

New P.P.C. members who came forward at the A.G.M. on 28/11/05 were welcomed onto the council. They are Lorcan McMahon, Geraldine Cleary and Fidelma Hogan.
Members who resigned prior to the A.G.M. are Michael O’Connell, Hugo Magee and Gerry McIntyre.

Minutes of 18/10/05 were reviewed and agreed

Matters arising
• Original date of renewal day was changed to 03/12/05. We cancelled our booking as there were insufficient numbers available on that date and at short notice. We will be contacted regarding any further days but no dates have been arranged yet.
• 4 members attended a C.Y.C. information evening since the last meeting. Generally correspondence from the C.Y.C. arrives too close to event dates to find suitable delegates. Suggest finding suitable delegates who could be on mailing list and report back items of interest.

Letter received from Archbishop Martin requesting that PPC meet convene a special meeting in Nov 05 to review findings of Ferns report. A reply was sent to that letter outlining Blessington P.P.C. action to date on preparing a Child Protection Policy. Recommendations of Ferns report are only now available to the P.P.C.

Review of A.G.M.
Assembly format generally worked well. Attendance was good, but it was noted that vast majority of attendees were invited volunteers.
Suggestions for future Parish Assembly
• Publicise agenda in advance
• Circulate questionnaire to audience to invite comment / ideas etc.
• Suitable date – first week of Advent.

Child Protection Policy (C.P.P.)
Liam gave a synopsis of work to date for the new members present.
There followed a discussion on a collective response to the Archbishops letter along the lines of questions posed therein.
Re Child Protection Policy for Blessington Parish
• What areas in relation to child protections are you satisfied with in your parish?
• What needs improvement?
• When training programs are rolled out and guidelines implemented, is there anything else our Parish should be doing?
• What else does the Dublin Diocese need to do to help us improve our current position?
A letter will be drafted based on the group responses and forwarded to Archbishops house.
Training for Parish teams on C.P.P. will be provided in the diocese during 2006, and we will be notified in due course about training which we can avail of.
The C.P.P. subgroup will meet before next meeting.

Gospel review for 11/12/05
‘ John the Baptist comes as a witness to make a straight way for the Lord’

Need to formally re-elect officers at January meeting.

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