Monday, May 25, 2009

Websites for Parish Pastoral Councils

The website run by the Office of Pastoral Renewal and Family Ministry (OPRFM) in the Archdiocese of Armagh, whose aims are to promote pastoral initiatives and family ministry within the diocese. The website is bright and kept well updated with links to resources, allowing for daily news updates and Mass readings. There is even a poll on the homepage which allows the user to interact with the site and not merely feel as if they are absorbing information. The site aims to inform with clear and precise information as to what the OPRFM does and who is involved. Many websites rely too heavily on written content, but this site strikes the perfect balance between written information and visual aids. The main menu on the home page allows for simple navigation of the site and the “Parish” link leads to ample information on pastoral renewal. Any resources on the site may be easily saved as a PDF file, printed or emailed, and the monthly newsletter of the Parish Evaluation Project is an excellent resource for any Parish Pastoral Council.

The website of St Patrick’s parish of Esker, Dodsboro, and Adamstown, Co. Dublin is an excellent example of a parish facilitating the changing needs of its parishioners in a world where information is so readily available on the Internet. The site is colourful and most importantly kept up-to-date with links to the readings of the particular day and easily accessible contact details for both the priests of the parish and those involved in administration. Some of the more laudable features of the site are the manner in which the site gives directions to the parish with a link through Google maps and the translation of the parish’s “Welcome Message” into ten languages. The details of the Parish Pastoral Council are easily accessed through the “Parish Groups” link and should be used as template for any PPCs who wish to post information on the Internet. The page clearly outlines the aims and objectives of the PPC in a logical and clear manner with contact information and minutes of the meetings included. The progress report of the Council is linked on the Homepage and the overall content gives the impression of an involved, easily accessible, hardworking PPC.

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