Sunday, January 22, 2023

New pastoral letter in Derry diocese invites parishioners on a ‘mission of renewal’

 Diocese of Derry - Building our Faith Community

Last weekend, Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry published a pastoral letter to the people of the Diocese of Derry entitled, God has plans for His people. Join in the Mission of Prayer, Exploration and Renewal.

In his pastoral letter, which was circulated throughout the 104 parishes of this cross-border diocese, Bishop McKeown invited “local parishes to have prayerful discussions about how each can explore and review their way of being Church so that parishioners can:

  • Build an open and welcoming community, reaching those who feel like outsiders in our churches;
  • Grow in faith together throughout our lives; and,
  • Make Jesus known and loved.”

Bishop McKeown continued, “in our time of listening and sharing during our parish synodal conversations, there was a recognition of change in our faith community. But the key question is not merely how we change so that we can maintain the current model and structures. With that model we have been failing in our mission of bringing people to know and love Jesus.”

Bishop McKeown concluded, “in a context of prayer and of openness to the Holy Spirit, I invite the parishes of the diocese to set out on this mission of renewal, believing that if we listen for the voice of the Lord, we can enter into His peace. Like generations of missionaries before us, we walk into the future, filled with hope, that the Lord has already prepared for us.”

To read this pastoral letter and watch a message Bishop McKeown, click here.