Theme: What does it mean to be the People of God Today? ...............Tomorrow?

The holding of the 1997 Conference marks the completion of the first decade of PobaL.
The occasion prompts the question of how more real has become our awareness of tne concept of the People of God which is so basic to the thinking of Vatican ii for the renewal of Christian life. The memory of those exciting years just after the pronouncement by the Council is still inspiring for many of the faithful and helps to bear with the disappointment that it has not been taken up with greater conviction by the Church in Ireland.

That this great insight has been neglected does not lessen either its value or its potential to meet attitudes current in the greatly changed society which Ireland has become in the intervening years. The move towards secularism is now an accepted force in Irish life. It will gather further pace as the younger generation takes over. This throws up both an opportunity and a challenge. We are now able to start thinking of Christian identity and purpose over against the prevailing secularist attitudes. We are faced with the need to think anew and to call for a radical change of heart, based on openness to Christ and the Spirit which will assert Christian identity and work out ways to live which will make sense in this new phase of our civilisation. This is the background against which it has been decided to have as the theme of the 1997 Conference: What does it mean to be the People of God today? Tomorrow?


The Conference Programme will present the concept of the People of God as being made up, not only of believers, but of all who strive to lead a good life ( Lumen Gentium 16). Within that great gathering, there is the Christian Community of the Church acting as a leaven which is God's action in the world. That community, a communion of graced believers, is there to exemplify how to life in the world.
The process of defining in contemporary terms the Christian purpose of life and living is an ongoing necessity. Engaging in that process is a task for the whole People of God. The programme will try to open up thinking in regard to the sense of Christian mission, vocation and commitment to service which goes with consciously belonging to the People of God. The emphasis of the Conference will be on the experiential. Its aim will be positive, constructive and hopeful.
In the run up to the Conference you are asked to think about:

  1. issues you would like to see addressed
  2. the ideas you would like to see adopted
  3. how these could be put into practice

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