Consultation Phase 3

Living our Mission: Being Called to Holiness

The video below is a short introduction by Bishop Brian McGee explaining Phase 3 of our Led by the Spirit process, outlining the importance of what we will engage in together - communal discernment through Spiritual Conversation.


Led by the Spirit: as a diocese we aspire, when discerning our future, to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As a Catholic Community we believe that God has intentions for us and we strive to discern what they are and put them into practice. Therefore, our desire is that we be Led by the Spirit.

A Reminder of the Three Consultative Phases

Led by the Spirit has three progressive consultation phases. In Phase 1 we reflected on six areas where we believe God is calling Argyll and the Isles to focus today. These were the Universal Call to Holiness, Mission, Catechesis, Formation of laity and clergy, Openness to all and Transparency. Every parish was invited to participate and the diocesan collation can be found on this link.

In Phase 2 we focussed on our Diocesan resources and what we learned about the diocese from having that information. We explored what surprised and challenged us by knowing the details of the diocese, and looked at the opportunities for growth that presented themselves. We took time in Phase 2 to outline the things about our diocese that inspire us and the things that bring us hope.

We concluded very clearly through Phases 1 and 2 that we as individuals and as a diocese are called to be holy. In his Pastoral Letter for Phase 3 Bishop Brian put it very clearly and simply: "The Church’s mission is always to point to Christ and we do this best when we ourselves are close to him. This is what I pray for our diocese today. We must now discern how, in today’s situation, we can grow closer to God and so faithfully fulfil our divinely given mission."

The Method for Phase 3

Booklet Spirit InageThis Third Consultation Phase will explore how we can best fulfil that divinely given mission of being called to holiness.

Our way of doing this will differ from the way our parish meetings have been conducted up to now. For Phase 3 it is of great importance that we discern communally and in a way that allows the Holy Spirit to take the lead. We do this through the method of 'Spiritual Conversation'.

Spiritual conversation is undertaken in groups and is as much, if not more, to do with spiritual listening as it is to do with speaking. Everything said is of value and will be recorded in the report of the meeting so that everyone is heard and everything said is respected.

Our parish meetings will begin with shared listening to a passage of scripture, taking part in a guided reflection on that passage, followed by a period of quiet personal reflection.

Spiritual Conversation takes place over three rounds, or stages: a process of active listening, of intentional speaking and of being attentive to the movement of the Spirit, which we come to know through our own reactions to what we hear being shared by others.

The focus of our conversation is asking ourselves a simple question, and listening to the response of others. That question is:

 How do we live out our ‘call to holiness’ now and in the future, in a way that prepares us for a changing diocese? That is, how can we better live out our mission, knowing the potential yet also the limits of our shared diocesan life?

 What is being asked of me individually, of our parish and of our diocese and what needs to develop or change in me, in my parish and in the diocese?

Parish gatherings can commence from July onwards which gives us time to first read and view the material found on this web page and for private prayer and reflection.

Resources for Phase 3

Below, we provide a number of useful documents and videos to help us prepare for our parish meetings for Phase 3. These include Bishop Brian's Pastoral Letter, the booklet we will use for our parish meetings, a list of resources to assist the lay faithful participate to the fullest in our parishes and churches, a paper on how parishes might develop over time, Pope Francis' vision for renewal in the Church, an excellent video by Fr John Dardis SJ outlining the process and the importance of Spiritual Conversation, the methodology we will use for our Phase 3 parish meetings and finally a reminder of the resources on discernment already available here on the website.

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