The Parish Cell movement is based on small groups (4-12) of people who gather together every fortnight from September through to April. We contemplate the following Sunday’s Gospel and share what it is saying to each one of us in our own lives. We pray for family, for neighbours, and for the wider concerns of our acquaintances, all in the comfortable surroundings of a volunteer’s home.
A valuable element of our gathering involves listening to a short pre-recorded CD reflection on the Gospel passage. In Thurles we are blessed as these recordings are assembled locally by our own priests which adds further value to our listening experience.
The Parish Cell System is a world-wide organisation particularly popular in both Florida and Italy, from whence it was introduced to Ireland. The term Cell is derived from the biological understanding, intimating the basic unit of life in a body. As the human cell grows to a particular point it divides in two, creating two cells to replace the one. Similarly, when the Parish Cell grows in membership it too must divide and form two in its place. Furthermore, just as a body is made up of many cells that provide life; Parish Cells give life to the Church in a parish.
Participation in Parish Cells provides a regular opportunity for us to discuss and share our faith, to provide mutual support and prayer for each other, to widen our spiritual focus and, most importantly, to remind us to continually extend the hand of welcome to others to “Come and See”. Each evening culminates in a sociable cup of tea.
Currently there are four active Parish Cells in Thurles. We earnestly invite people to attend any of our meetings where they will be greeted with warmth and joy. Contact the Parish Centre @ 0504 22229 for details.
Parish Cells of Evangelization, founded in South Korea with the aim of promoting the spirit of evangelization has flourished in many countries including the United States, Italy, Ireland and Australia.
In his remarks to those present in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis on Saturday 5th September 2015 spoke about the importance of being a missionary and said above all this requires listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit who is at the heart of evangelization.
He also underlined how their daily work helps the parish community become a family, where, the Pope said, “we find the rich and multifaceted reality of the Church”, and where no one is judged.
He also added, that sharing time together, such as in the home “is a genuine experience of evangelization that is very similar to what happened in the early days of the Church.”
Finally, the Holy Father encouraged the group present to make the Eucharist the heart of their mission of evangelisation, so that each cell is a Eucharistic community “where the breaking of bread is to recognise the real presence of Jesus Christ in our midst.”
Concluding he said “Now we pray to our Lady, all together, the Mother of the Church, Our lady of tenderness, to help us move forward in this testimony.” Hail Mary…
Thurles Parish Cells were well represented at this blessed and inspirational event in Rome.
Groups meet for one and a half hours once a fortnight in host homes October to May.