On Saturday 14th June the Irish Episcopal Conference’s Council for Marriage and the Family hosted Marriage and the Family at the Heart of the Parish at Clonliffe College in Dublin. The conference sought to explore the ‘pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation,’ how the parish community supports families in their Christian calling to share their faith and to inform the work of the Council for Marriage and the Family.
After a welcome by Bishop Liam McDaid, Chair of the Council for Marriage and the Family, the keynote address was given by Archbishop Diarmuid, Archbishop of Dublin. Fr Tony Fahey, Professor of Social Policy at the School of Applied Social Science, UCD, spoke about marriage and family in Ireland today and a series of drama presentations helped the gathering to reflect on the various challenges to faith practice and faith transmission in families. The day concluded with a presentation on the parish’s role in supporting families on their faith journeys by conference moderator, Colette Furlong, using practical examples from her catechetical work in the Sligo Parish Cluster.
Lisette Blanchet-Ball and Fr Tom Creagh-Fuller, who attended the conference on behalf of the Archdiocese of Southwark, said afterwards ‘We were very impressed with the day as a wonderful example of a national gathering, further enhanced by specific issues to reflect on delivered in a very engaging manner by a drama group.’