The first Extraordinary Provincial Council (EPC) of the 2013 – 2019 mandate began at the Provincial House in Feltrim, Blackrock Road with Morning Prayer at 9am on Thursday, 12 June 2014.
The 17 member Council plus two Invitees are Frs Michael McCabe (Provincial Leader), Malachy Flanagan (Vice Provincial Leader), Maurice Henry (Provincial Councillor), Vincent Brennan, (representing Irish members in South Africa), Tim Cullinane (Nigeria), Tony Gill (Tanzania), Padraic Kelly (Zambia), Ollie Noonan (Kenya), D J Ryan (Ghana), Colum O’Shea (representing the Blackrock Road community), Eamonn Finnegan (Claregalway), John O’Brien (Dublin) John O’Keeffe (Wilton), John Denvir and Paddy O’Rourke (Dromantine).
As mandated by the 2013 Provincial Assembly there are two invitees attending the Council: Mrs Dympna Mallon (SMA Laity Coordinator) and Mr Gerry Forde (SMA Justice Office).
In his Opening address the Irish Provincial Leader said that one of the EPC purposes is to decide how best to implement the priorities of the 2013 Provincial Assembly.
“While many of these priorities represent a continuation or deepening of decisions taken at previous Assemblies, two priorities in particular point us in a new direction which the members of the 2013 Assembly saw as vital for the future of SMA in Ireland. These are first, “to progress (advance) a policy for lay participation in SMA mission”, and second, “to work on a Communications Plan for SMA Ireland to communicate SMA tradition and values, ensuring that justice and advocacy are priorities”. While initial steps have been taken on both priorities, we are still far from realising a blueprint for action. The key problem is translating our vision of the ‘ideal’ future we envisage for ourselves into concrete ‘deliverables’ and then committing ourselves to carrying out those concrete actions, individually and corporately. We prefer ideals to which we can give notional assent – and which don’t disturb us much – to blueprints which require concrete and sustained commitment. Perhaps this gathering of the leadership of the Province will help the Provincial Council to address this problem.”