Feature 12 April 2010 | Update from Department of Pastoral Care

12 Apr 2010


Irish Bishops’ Conference Department of Pastoral Care:

national cooperation, supporting pastoral relatedness

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ICBC) work collaboratively on issues which arise for the Church and society and this work includes five departments, one of which is the Department of Pastoral Care whose commissions, agencies and initiatives include Cura, Migrants/Prisoners at Home and Overseas, Accord, Catholic Marriage Care Service, Health Care/Disabilities/Drugs, Family and Children. Christianity is social and relational and each pastoral situation in our parish and local communities of home, school, work, hospital, prison etc . . . offers an encounter open to the possibility of showing God’s loving concern for each human person. The work of the ICBC Department of Pastoral Care is a national support that seeks to respond to the pastoral realities of living out the call to the fullness of Christian life and a more human way of living (cf., Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, #40). The department’s Chairperson is Bishop Christopher Jones, Bishop of Elphin and its Executive Secretary is Fr Peter Murphy.


CURA has recently launched a new support service for mums of new babies. Full details here … CURA, established by the Irish Bishops’ Conference in 1977, is a crisis pregnancy counselling service offering help and support to those affected by a crisis pregnancy. CURA is funded by the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme. There are 16 CURA Centres and three outreach services throughout the country. For details see www.cura.ie


ACCORD celebrated the Feast of St Valentine with a special blessing at the shrine of St Valentine in Whitefriar Street Church, Dublin. Read more … ACCORD, the Catholic Marriage Care Service, is an agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.  ACCORD has 58 centres in the North and South of Ireland.  All volunteers undergo professional counselling training and/or facilitation training in advance of becoming members of ACCORD. For more information see www.catholicbishops.ie/accord.

Irish Bishops’ Drugs Initiative (IBDI)

The IBDI supports parishes to mobilise to help prevent drug and alcohol misuse in parish communities.  Read here for an update on activities … The IBDI has also recently linked in with the DKIT college (Dundalk) to help promote its Fit 4 Lifeprogramme Alcohol Awareness Day. Details here … The Irish Bishops’ Drugs Initiative was established in 1997 as a church response to the growing problem of drug / alcohol misuse in Ireland. Its vision is to enable parishes to use a pastoral response in partnership with other service providers to respond to the primary and secondary prevention of drug / alcohol harms in parish communities. Read more …