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Catholic Faith Communities of Skibbereen, Rath and the Islands


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Priests will continue to minister to ‘occasional Catholics,’ or the ‘semi-attached.’ This is sometimes a source of frustration for priests. In part, this is because there does not seem to be any coherent strategy, not only at a national level but even within dioceses, for instance, with regard to admitting children who are from non-practising families to the sacraments of initiation and providing for sacramental marriage. In other countries people are quick to register formally ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the Church. In Ireland, we tend to be pragmatic rather than to take principles stances, and so it is likely that many people will drift in and out of the Church. The challenge here is to get the balance right between providing pastoral care sensitively, on the one hand, and inviting people into fuller communion and conversion, on the other.

Fr Eamonn Conway, ‘Being a Priest in Contemporary Culture,’

in Priesthood Today: Ministry in a Changing Church