Parish Pastoral Council

(updated 03-03-2020)

St Mary’s Parish, Irishtown Parish Pastoral Council

Parish Leadership and Coordination:

The recognized leadership structure of each parish is made up of two Councils. The Parish Pastoral Council handles all matters of a pastoral nature and a separate Parish Finance Council handles all matters related to parish finance and property. Both Councils are mandated by the Bishop and confirmed by Canon Law.

As the number of priests continues to fall, the need to involve the laity has become increasingly more essential and the Irish Bishops have implemented measures to create Councils in all parishes.

In May 2007, following a series of public meetings, the first Parish Pastoral Council was set up in St. Mary’s. Its primary aim was, and continues to be, to facilitate the work of existing and new parish groups and to provide a forum to listen to, and reflect on, the identified needs of parishioners. It attempts to chart a way forward by coordinating and facilitating other groups within the parish to respond to these needs.

In September 2012 the second Council was formed and is comprised of new members as well as some of the former council members.

The process which the Parish Pastoral Council uses includes:

  • Identifying Needs and Planning: Identifying needs and Planning a way forward
  • Formation: Enabling parishioners to develop their gifts through the provision of training and formation
  • Implementation: Making use of existing structures and developing new structures to match needs and challenges with appropriate resources
  • Communication: Ensuring that effective dialogue takes place between the parish and the wider community
  • Evaluating: Reviewing parish activities to ensure a dynamic Christian community.

St. Mary’s Parish Mission Statement

The following is the Mission Statement adopted by the Council:

St. Mary's Parish is a community of faith. Our Pastoral Council commits itself

-to meeting the challenge of these changing times

-by actively engaging the talents of all the people of our parish

-in sharing the Good News and

-in fostering a caring, welcoming, prayer community.

What is the Purpose of the Parish Pastoral Council?

The Pastoral Council’s main focus includes Church Liturgy, Baptismal Preparation, Bereavement Support, Faith Formation and Parish Communications.

The Pastoral Council:

  • Endeavours to build a vibrant parish community that is inclusive of all parishioners
  • Provides a structure for priests and people to share responsibility for the mission of the parish
  • Provides an opportunity for priests and people to work together to listen to the needs of parishioners
  • Works with all parish groups to further the coordinated development and growth of the parish community
  • Acts as a facilitator for cohesion of the various elements of parish life
  • Assesses needs of the parish and develops strategies to respond to them.

Who are the members of the Pastoral Council:

The members are drawn from the parish through a nomination process.

The current members are:


Fr. Billy Meehan

Nominated members


Cooney, Stephen


Dairmuid Bolger (vice Chairperson)


Charlotte Keane


Ó Caoimh, Mathúin 


O’Gorman, Pat (Chairperson)

7 Maria Cooke (Parish Secretary) 
8 Lena James

Co-opted Members


Children’s’ Liturgy:

Millea, Edel


Ministers Word/Eucharist: Coordinator:

O’Dwyer, Bridie


SVdP Rep:

Stafford, Mary


Communications Group Rep



Bereavement Group Rep



Parish Child Safeguarding Delegate

 Ita O'Brien & Mathúin Ó Caoimh


How often are meetings held?

Meetings are held monthly on the second Monday of each month.

How can contact be made with the Parish Pastoral Council?

Contact can be made with any of the following through the Parish Office:

052 6122773

Chairperson: Pat O'Gorman

Vice Chairperson:

Secretary: Maria Cooke

Comments and Suggestions Welcome

The Council welcomes any comments, questions or suggestions you may have on any aspect of our work at any time.