CHANGES IN the structure of the National Council for the Lay Apostolate which would broaden its membership to include a wider spectrum of opinion are to be considered at an extraordinary meeting of the council in October.
Non-apostolic lay organisations, interchurch agencies with strong Catholic participation, and diocesan and area pastoral councils could be invited to join the NCLA.
The council presently comprises some thirty lay
organisations and even the
president, Mr Ultan Russell, freely admits that such a body is
not representative of the lay apostolate field, let alone of the laity as a whole.
But Mr Russell is very keen for NCLA members to be represented on the new committees of the departments of the Bishops' Conference. "I fear that there may be a danger that they may fill the Committees with clergy or academics/professional experts" he says in a recent NCLA circular.
NCLA's latest member organisation is the Catholic Nurses' Guild. They will be formally welcomed at the October meeting.
Bishop Joseph Cleary has taken over from Bishop Victor Guazzelli as episcopal advisor. Bishop Guazzelli has served NCLA for 12 years.
Fr Kevin Kenny has resigned after eight years as chaplain, and is replaced by Fr David McLoughlin.