The Future of the Irish Parish - Pastoral Conference

By: Rev Dr √Čamonn Fitzgibbon | Event takes place on: 28 August 2018


Venue: Irish Institute for Pastoral Studies, MIC, St Patrick’s Campus, Thurles
Dates: 28th August and Wednesday 29th August 2018
Times: See schedule below
Speakers and Facilitators: Cardinal John Dew
Martin Kennedy
Dr Margaret Lavin
Fr Matthew Nunes
Dr Jessie Rogers
Bishop Michael Wüstenberg




Tuesday 28th August

1.30pm Registration

2.00pm Welcome, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, Cashel and Emly

2.30pm Lessons from New Zealand, Launch Out: Lay Pastoral Leadership Roles, (Cardinal John Dew, Archdiocese of Wellington, New Zealand)

4.30pm Break

5.00pm Lessons from South Africa, The Parish as a Community of Communities (Bishop Michael Wüstenberg , Bishop Emeritus, Aliwal, South Africa)

7.30pm Mass in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles.

Wednesday 29th August

9.00am Morning Prayer

9.30am Lessons from Liverpool,  The Experience of Widnes as a Witness to Team Ministry (Rev. Matthew Nunes Episcopal Vicar for Formation, Archdiocese of Liverpool)

11.30am Break

12 noon Lessons from Canada,  Rites and Responsibilities: The Role of the Clergy and the Laity in the Catholic Church, (Dr Margaret Lavin, Professor Emeritus at Regis College, Toronto)

2.00pm Lunch

3.00pm Applying the Learnings, Facilitated by Martin Kennedy and Dr Jessie Rogers.


Cardinal John Dew: Cardinal Dew is the Archbishop of Wellington and Vice President of New Zealand’s Catholic Bishops Conference. As Cardinal, the Holy Father has also appointed him to the Ponti?cal Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. He is the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s Bishop for the Catholic Bishops Committee for Ecumenism. During his priestly ministry he has served as a formator at the National Seminary and ?ve years in Youth Ministry. Cardinal John enjoys cooking, gardening, and walking.


Martin Kennedy: Martin works freelance as a trainer and facilitator with church and community groups, and has recently served as Pastoral Programme Coordinator for the World Meeting of Families, coordinating the delivery of resources to dioceses. Martin facilitated the Limerick Diocesan Synod in 2016. Among his published texts is: Ministry Now – New Approaches for a Changing Church.


Dr Margaret Lavin: Margaret is professor emerita at Regis College at the Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto. She is an accomplished author, sought after speaker and retreat director. Her area of specialty is sacramental theology and the Second Vatican Council. Margaret is presently the Assistant to the Provincial of the Canadian Jesuits for Partnership Formation in Ignatian Spirituality and Jesuit Mission. She has a passion for drawing people into dialogue on the relevance of faith and church in today's culture. She is the author of Theology for Ministry.


Fr Matthew Nunes: Matthew is a priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. In 2006 he was appointed as parish priest of 3 parishes in Widnes near Liverpool. The addition of a further 2 parishes sparked his interest in change management, facilitation and team work as a way of responding positively to the challenge of changing parish realities. He is currently the Episcopal Vicar for Formation in the Archdiocese of Liverpool.


Dr Jessie Rogers: Jessie lectures in Scripture at the Pontifical University, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and has trained as a spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition. She is a member of the Godly Play College of Trainers. Jessie facilitated the Limerick Diocesan Synod in 2016. Jessie lives in County Limerick.


Bishop Michael Wüstenberg: Bishop Michael was ordained priest in Germany in 1982. After ten years of parish ministry he went as fidei donum priest to South Africa to work in one of the Homelands in the Diocese of Aliwal. The focus of his pastoral work was on Small Christian Communities (SCCs) and the development of Community Ministries. He has completed a doctoral thesis on Lay-Ministries (the example of Funeral-Leaders), worked with the Lumko Institute and lectured on Pastoral Theology in the seminary in Pretoria. In 2017 he retired early due to health complications.