Theme: Communion in Society and in Church

The Fourth Pobal conference for lay people will focus on "Communion" - one of the central themes of the recent Papal document on the vocation and mission of the laity. The weekend conference will begin on Friday evening, 23rd February, at 8 p.m. (registration from 7 p.m.) Over the weekend the following aspects of the theme will be discussed :

  1. communion in interpersonal relationships.
  2. communion in the parish,
  3. communion in society, and
  4. small groups - a way to communion?

The programme will consist of short talks which will be followed by group discussions. Each of the main sessions will conclude with a general discussion.

The speakers will represent a wide range of experiences in building and sustaining communion in society and in Church.

They include:

- Fr. Con Casey CSSR. Lecturer in theology. Currently secretary of Irish Theological Association.
- Ben Kimmerling. Married woman involved in renewal. Writes, lectures and conducts workshops with religious, priests and lay people.
- P.J. Madden. Secretary of Irish Nurses Organisation.
- Martin Kennedy and his wife work in youth ministry from their base in Rahan, Offaly and in neighbouring dioceses.
- Gay McCarron is Dublin Planning Officer, Dublin City and County.

Pobal groups, which have been meeting and reflect­ing on aspects of the conference theme over recent months, will also make short presentations in the course of the weekend. Other groups have also been invited to share their experiences in these areas.


The Pobal movement seeks to promote the development of a more participatory Church in which lay people mil assume their full responsibility for increasing the vitality of the Christian community and continuing the mission of Christ in the world.

In working towards the realisation of this vision, we wish to look closely at our structures and practices, to see what is required to enable lay people to participate more fully in the life and mission of the Church.

We wish to foster dialogue and cooperation between people, religious, priests and bishops, and between men and women and the different classes in society.

We seek to develop an integrated spirituality that recog- - nises the presence and action of God in our daily lives, in our history and in the life of our planet.

We recognise that an important aspect of our enriched spir­ituality will be a more effective commitment to working for the promotion of justice, peace and reconciliation and for the protection of the environment. We understand that this calls for changes in our own attitudes and relation­ships and in the structures and practices of society. There­fore, we wish to work in solidarity with groups that are deprived and discriminated against in our society.

In order to enable us to discern our individual vocations as followers of Christ, to grow in faith and prayer, and to pro­mote the emergence of effective lay leaders, we encourage people to come together in small groups and to establish links with other small groups.

Pobal has organised three Conferences since 1987 to develop these themes.

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