PRODUCT CODE: 9781847309891

Coming of Age Navigating Pastoral Councils Respon

by Justin Harkin
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Coming of Age: Navigating Parish Pastoral Council Responsibilities – A Benedictine Perspective is a companion for all those – lay and clergy – who serve or are open to serving their parish through active membership of the Parish Pastoral Council. While the need for such bodies has never been greater, members often find themselves grappling with questions of identity, meaning and purposefulness. Using real-life stories and anecdotes, Justin Harkin identifies a number of the differing understandings, dynamics and exchanges that can give rise to restlessness, not just personally but throughout a council, and offers insight as to how each may lead to personal, council and parish growth.

Employing the wisdom and insight of Benedictine Spirituality, the book provides support and guidance for all who exert the service of leadership, be they officers, including priest presiders, or other members. It guides readers through this very humane and tried-and-tested expression of Gospel-inspired wisdom and its many contemporary applications, while remaining mindful of the human and spiritual struggles all Church groups can experience today.

Read privately or with a view to group discussion, the book is of particular value to women and men seeking a prism through which to review their personal experiences and aspirations regarding Parish Pastoral Council membership, offering helpful perspectives on challenges and highlighting the splendid growth opportunities membership can facilitate for oneself as well as for others.


Justin Harkin is Director of Pastoral and Faith Development Services in the Elphin Diocese in the West of Ireland and has worked with Parish Pastoral Councils for twenty years. He is also a husband, father, parish volunteer, a member of the Order of the Knights of St Columbanus and a Benedictine Oblate of Glenstal Abbey, Murroe, Co. Limerick.