When I first heard the word, which seems like only a year or so ago, I took it for a solipsism or rather, perhaps, one of those quasi-existent words that people use because they think they sound more impressive than the common alternative. But as people continued to seek my ‘agreance’ on this or that, I realised we had a new social phenomenon on our hands. Nonetheless, I suspected the word didn’t really exist.
I’ve never had ‘trick-or-treaters’ turn up at my place for Halloween. For most of my life that was not surprising because Halloween, like Valentine’s Day or the Super Bowl, was something known to us only from American TV shows.
Last month in this column, I concluded that Catholics could make up their own minds as citizens on what they thought the law of the land could define as marriage. Not everyone agrees on that, of course.
If you’re excited by legal changes that have social and moral significance, these are exciting times. There has not been so much on the political agenda, I’d say, since the ‘seventies. Then, having got past the Vietnam War, we seemed quite suddenly to have a raft of social change legislation.
Some readers will be aware of Pope Francis’ ongoing remarks on the desirability of ‘synodality’ in the church or, indeed, of a ‘synodal’ church. To many, this is unfamiliar language, although quite strong memories persist of the diocesan synod held in 1992-93.
With established agencies offering education, social services, banking, early education and pastoral services to the local community; the diocese will expand further with the announcement of the new Development and Relief Agency (DARA).