Report on Conversation evenings in Killaloe Diocese

Conversation Evenings Killaloe Diocese


A series of Conversation evenings were held recently in the diocese of Killaloe in Killaloe, Kilrush, Carrigoran, Moneygal and Nenagh and the following items document the issues that arose.  The idea behind the conversation issues was to give people an opportunity to meet and have a conversation as to how they were doing as people of faith in the midst of all that has happened in the Church and Society over the past few months.


Ground Rules


The following were the words that emerged following a brain-storming exercise on what the ground-rules should be for the time of sharing, listening and conversation:




From the heart

Personal Conviction

Creating space for honest dialogue

Allow for disagreement

Tolerance & respect for difference











Issues only – not personality based


Stick to finishing time


Issues of past 6 months

Papal Visit

Abortion Referendum

Clerical Changes or diocesan appointments

WMOF 2018

Traveler issues & reaction to that

Church & Education

The Attack on Pope

Cervical Cancer Health Scandal

Heroism of Oscar Romero


Marriage Equality Referendum

Changing views of Young People

Blasphemy Referendum

Media Bias

Climate change

Ignorance of faith

Tuam Babies

Abortion legislation

Role of women

Role of men

LGBT issues

Power struggle in the Church

Secularization of Schools


Lack of morality


What are the issues that give us Encouragement as People of Faith

Pope’s Visit – encouragement in our faith

Pope Francis himself – simplicity, openness, honesty

Papal Concert in Croke Park

Little girl taking a selfie with Pope Francis

Example & leadership of individual priests

Courage to face up to past wrongs by Church leaders

Respect for Pope by our Civil leaders

Charisms & gifts & commitment of people – growing in the faith community

Admiration for young people

Godly Play – Joy it brings to liturgies

Humility of Pope – Penitential Rite – from the heart

Comradeship of young people at Popes’ visit

Events like this conversation evening – listening & sharing – hopeful sign

Young people involved in Referendum Campaign

Community involvement

Inspiration of Youth

Pope Francis – The joy of the Gospel

Unity of togetherness

Enthusiasm of young people & good living Christians

Heroic Women of cervical cancer scandal

Eucharistic Adoration Success

Emma Mhic Mathúna, RIP


Lay ministries

Spiritually of Creation – Eco Parishes

Interest in Spiritually

Young people celebrating faith

Consoling Word of God giving encouragement

Community response to tragedies

Popes solidarity with the Poor

Witness of Prayer groups at local level & the way they outreach

Goodness of young people

Lectio Divina

Community vibrancy

Power & strength of pilgrimage

Prayer groups

Una O’Hagan book on The Little Flower

Freedom from hypocrisy in current age

Positivity in General



What are the issues that cause Discouragement as people of Faith?

Negativity in life in general & media in particular

Hurt in the World – cervical cancer, sexual abuse

Coping with tragedies, disappointments and challenges in life

The struggle to believe

Ongoing misogyny of Church in denying women ordained ministry

Hopelessness, cynicism & negativity among clergy & others

The good the Church has done in Education & Health not being highlighted

Abuse issues concerning senior clergy

The Spirit of the Age we live in – Everything permitted but nothing forgiven

Voice informed from faith is no longer taken seriously

Increased intolerance of secularism

Climate Change – ecology issues

Ignorance of faith

Rural depopulation – sense of place

Mé féinism. Individualism.

Non life-giving liturgies.

Pyramid still very much in the upward direction – role of the laity (Reference to Pope Francis promoting the image of the inverted pyramid)

Lack of leadership by Pope Francis – Vigano issue

Travellers – support for discrimination

Intervention of former president of Ireland in Church related issues

Political correctness- discouraging

Passing of Abortion Referendum

Lack of energy – heaviness – disappointments – feeling down

Extent of suffering & pain

Dismissal of God in modern society

Rise of individualism

Homelessness – care for the poor

Poor leadership – Church & State

Lack of a Theology of sacrifice – embracing the Cross

Disillusionment – Suffering

Rise of alternate right – treatment of refugees

Why of suffering!

Disturbing prevalence of suicide

Church being pushed out of Education

Injustice in society (Sergeant McCabe)

Drugs Problem

Sadness & Loss in changes in Parishes

Bouncy Castle Catholics

Secularization of the Constitution

General disrespect

Reluctance to talk about God

Feeling alone as faith people


Bottom Line Issue

Still believe in God

Still believe in Jesus Christ

Still believe in Church







Hope & Faith

Trust in the Lord

Word of God

Christian activity

Personal prayer – pester power

Eucharistic People


What is God saying to us?

More varied opportunities

Powerful position of Grandparents in developing faith

Bravery & courage

Suffering for your faith – theology of sacrifice

Power of example

Eucharistic People

“Critical to stay Christ-Centred”

Importance of beatitudes – Pope Francis



Options available to us

Deplorethe current situation – discouragement

Restorethe past – ok to a degree – not throw the baby out with the bath water

Explorealso a new way forward for the future