NewsBreaking newsCommunityHopes of Pope’s visit riseBy Bernie English – November 19, 2014 907 Shannondoc operating but only by appointment WhatsApp TAGSBishopfeaturedPope Francissynod Limerick Bishop launches Synod……> The Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy at the launch 2015 Synod with CiaraNoonan and Tommy Walsh of the Youth Ministry.AS SPECULATION of a Papal visit mounted in Limerick, the first gathering to prepare for the Diocesan Synod in 2016 heard that it can lead to re-founding of the diocese.Hopes are growing that Pope Francis might pay a visit to Limerick on his way to the USA next year after Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, on a visit to Moyross, replied “absolutely” when asked if the Pope could visit.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The pope could stop off at Shannon on his way to the USA and Archbishop Brown fueled hopes further by speaking of the Pope’s love of Ireland after studying here in the 1970’s.Meanwhile some 350 delegates in Limerick who have stepped forward for selection for the Synod attended the first event in preparation for the landmark gathering.The Synod – the first in Ireland in 50 years and first in the diocese in 70 years – will be preceded by an 18 month period of reflection and will be officially launched at a special Mass on Sunday, December 7 in St. John’s Cathedral.The inaugural event heard from Fr Paul Philibert – a Dominican friar and expert in pastoral theology from the US who has written extensively on church, spirituality, and liturgy – that a synod is” essential if we are to take on board the type of change we now need”.“The synod will help us to name the unusable past and to aim for the necessary future” he said.The synod will help us to name the unusable past and to aim for the necessary future” he added.“In his pastoral letter of convocation, Bishop Brendan clearly indicated that the synod will have some mighty challenges ahead of it. He referred to the ecclesial trauma caused by the revelation of horrible deeds done to children. Those stories and those wounds will need to be named, and assurances of clear changes of policy will need to be credible and fully understood.“Moreover, the practice of the faith has declined, and the majority of our young adults have not settled down into the church as a spiritual home. In a broader sense, not just Roman Catholics, but the Irish people as a whole find it harder to see the link between faith and culture. There is, as Pope Francis keeps reminding us, a profound need for re-evangelization.”Fr Philibert said that there will have to be some ‘emptying out’ and the biggest aspect of this will be in recalibrating our understanding of what the church is and what our role within it must be.He said that exaggerated ideas of the priest’s role was not good for the ordained nor for the laity who, under such circumstances, could hardly imagine their Christian lives as apostolic.“During the last fifty years, a downturn in vocations, often flawed catechesis (or worse, no catechesis), the onslaught of pathological media, and generations attuned to vacuous overstimulation have created a populace addicted to excitation and starved for religious formation. Today, ironically, we have vast resources for communication unimaginable to our great-grandparents, on the one hand, and the effective loss of the deep practical meaning of the Christian life, on the other.“What on earth might be done about such a predicament? Hold a synod,” he continued.He said that we must let go of calculating Christian life in terms of Masses, rosaries, and novenas alone. “These were the lifeblood of Catholics in the hard times, and they are due all proper respect. But we must let go of thinking of the saving sacrifice of the Mass as something done for us but without us.”With regard to what the Synod will mean for delegates and the wider diocese, he said, “We can say that it will pose a series of questions that will shape not only the ministry of the diocese, but the life and witness of its people. Do you want to be clients of an ecclesiastical franchise? Do you want to be observers of sacred, sacramental rites performed for your inspiration and spiritual comfort? Do you want to continue to be part-time Christians who visit churches but live in a lusty world? Or, by contrast, do you want to be an active member of a mutually-ministering community that has the world and its culture in view?“The synod could be an invitation to enter a new age of hope, of discovery, a new age of joy and investment, leading to new challenges but also to deeper peace.”Other talks were given to delegates on the specially designed Synod logo and the Synod Web-site, while there were a number of workshops, including on ‘The Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults as a resource for creating encounters with Christ’, ‘Catholic Education and the Synod’, ‘The Synod and parish life: Exploring how the synod journey will connect with the life of parish and parishioners’, ‘Synodality and Vatican II’, ‘The Synod as a Pilgrimage in Faith’, and ‘Reading the Signs of the Times’.Reflecting on Saturday’s first gathering of Synod delegates, Bishop Brendan Leahy said, “This was the first coming together for the delegates and there was definitely a real sense of energy and enthusiasm about the role of the diocese going forward and how we can look at the obvious challenges we face not as hurdles but platforms for positive change.”Said Fr. Éamonn Fitzgibbon, Episcopal Vicar, as Director of the Synod Fr Eamon Fitzgibbon, “We have had a really engaging and energizing start for the Synod process. Fr. Philibert delivered a captivating address and there was much more food for thought in the various workshops. Ultimately, there is huge goodwill for the Diocese and an appetite for the positive change that we are going to effect. We are now all eagerly looking forward to the Synod launch on December 7th.”For full details on the synod, go to its website www.synod2016.com Previous articleTeachers have “no appetite” for strikeNext articleOne Sawdoctor, One Waterboy Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Print Linkedin No vaccines in Limerick yet First Irish death from Coronavirus Walk in Covid testing available in Limerick from Saturday 10th April RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Proceedures and appointments cancelled again at UHL Facebook Email Surgeries and clinic cancellations extended Advertisement Twitter
2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Alyssa Nolte Alyssa Nolte is Chief Development Officer for Discida (de-see-da), a national research science firm that serves a wide range of organizations, including credit unions. Discida data scientists developed the Brand … Web: www.discida.com Details It’s been well-documented that acquiring new members is far more costly than growing relationships with the ones you already have. It’s just one reason that building member loyalty is a priority for most credit unions, and one of the key metrics measured in a strong, healthy brand. Happy, loyal members can be a credit union’s greatest asset. Not just for their lifetime value, but for the new members they may recruit with word-of-mouth, positive online reviews and social shares. If you have a segment of active and engaged members, pat yourself on the back. What you’re doing for those folks is working well. But what about your not-so-engaged members? They’re quieter and easier to forget about. Before a member leaves, there’s rarely an announcement or singular tell-tale sign. Rather, there’s a subtle pattern of behaviors – and non-behaviors – that insinuates an impending departure. Because there are many potential behaviors and variables relative to member attrition, it can be difficult to identify members in danger. Unless you have the right data science tools, that is. Artificial intelligence solutions, such as neural networks, are providing credit union leaders with new windows of insight into members with the greatest likelihood of disengaging from their products and services. Rather than accept attrition as an inevitable part of business, credit unions are now working to become proactive and sharply-focused in their retention efforts. Here’s an example…. Let’s say a credit union was losing market share. Throwing up their hands in despair isn’t an option for leadership. Neither is be impulsively rolling out marketing offers. Wouldn’t it be great to respond with laser-focused efforts right where they’ll have the most impact? With the assistance of a tool like an AI neural network, a credit union can deeply analyze member data to get those answers. The network’s ability to synthesize large amounts of multi-dimensional data can reveal the behavioral patterns and factors that precede a member leaving. That, in turn, allows a credit union to segment its member base and deploy hyper-personalized promotions that get the right offer to the right member at the right time. AI and data science enable credit unions to become both proactive and effective, reaching waning members with re-engagement campaigns before they’re gone for good. Credit unions don’t need a crystal ball to know which members will leave. In fact, they have the answers right now. They’re just buried deep within their data, waiting for the right tools to uncover them.
Last month, 146-year-old Nakago closed the doors of its last remaining store in Fukushima city, also in the north, while Izutsuya Co Ltd, a chain in the southern city of Kita Kyushu, shuttered one of its two main stores.“Everyone agrees it’s very disappointing, but the truth is that people haven’t been shopping at these stores lately,” said Shuhei Yamashita, a retail consultant who hopes to buy the Onuma department store from creditors and turn it around.This year, with consumers wary of shopping and tourism decimated amid the pandemic, sales have plunged. Industry sales dropped by a fifth in July from a year earlier and policymakers fear more store closures and bankruptcies are inevitable.Even before this year’s woes, Japanese department stores have struggled to stay relevant, selling items such as US$10,000 kimonos and posh tableware to maintain their cachet even as consumer tastes have turned towards more informal items. At the same time, consumers have taken much of their shopping online. After more than three centuries in business, the Onuma department store in northern Japanese city of Yamagata began bankruptcy proceedings this year – one of many distinguished department stores across the country in dire straits.Known for fancy food halls, luxury items, impeccable service and, in their heyday, rooftop attractions to entertain families, Japan’s department stores have been in a long slow decline as shopping habits change.Now the coronavirus pandemic, just as it has forced US retailers such as Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus into bankruptcy, is hammering nails into coffins for some – particularly those in regional areas. Both industry-wide sales and store numbers have tumbled 30 percent since 1999. Some of the country’s 203 department stores have also drastically shrunk floor space by bringing in other tenants.Big national chains and stores in major cities haven’t been immune. Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd, for example, has closed several stores over the past decade and said in March it would close a Mitsukoshi store in downtown Tokyo next year.However, it is the prospects for regional stores and the implications for their local economies – already wracked by decades of deflation, anaemic growth and an exodus of young people searching for better jobs – which are causing the most concern.Policymakers fret store failures may sow seeds of crisis, exacerbating pain felt throughout a local economy to the point that beleaguered regional lenders will not be able to cope with increases in non-performing loans.“Closures will weigh on property prices, jobs and many other aspects of an already weakening regional economy,” said a government official with expertise in regional finance, speaking on condition of anonymity.Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the frontrunner to become the country’s new prime minister this month, has made revitalising regional economies a key policy priority.But whether any of the government’s pledge of $2.2 trillion in stimulus for pandemic-hit companies finds its way to department stores remains an open question with some government officials and politicians privately saying that the money needs to be funnelled towards more viable industries.Everything has changedIn Yamagata, the future of the Onuma department store remains unclear. Although Yamashita’s company is keen to keep the store going, creditors could opt to sell to a higher-paying bidder.Some locals seem resigned to Onuma’s failure, saying it had failed to keep up with changing lifestyles including the rise of online retailers and faster transport links to bigger cities.“Infrastructure, transportation, lifestyles, information, culture, values – everything has changed,” Takashi Inoue, president of a metal processing company in Yamagata, wrote in a blog as he lamented Onuma’s bankruptcy.For now, Yamashita’s company is helping to keep the store open through the end of September, although the food hall is closed and shoppers are limited to browsing for deals among household items and clothes he has gathered from various warehouses.Still, Yamashita isn’t giving up hope that creditors will be convinced by his plans to revamp the store.“It’s a place people once loved,” he said. “It will be a shame if it becomes just another high-rise development.”Topics :