Congratulations and sincere thanks to our three priests who retire this summer. Each has given fifty years of ministry as a priest. What wonderful service. May they enjoy every blessing and good health in their retirement. Sincere thanks to all the priests affected by this year’s new appointments for their willing cooperation.
The past year has seen quite a lot of illness among our priests. Providing continuity of service in their parishes has been a challenge. I pay tribute to all who have gone the extra mile to make it possible: neighbouring priests, the laity in their parishes, the deacons, and our retired priests. There has been a true spirit of teamwork. Thank God many have made a good recovery.
The retirement of three of our priests has resulted in two more parishes without resident priests. It brings the total number of such parishes to eight. Of our twelve Pastoral Areas just four have yet to have a parish without a resident priest. Thank God we had the ordination of a priest last year and we also have two seminarians studying for the priesthood. We continue to pray for vocations to serve as priests in our diocese.
It is a very sad occasion when a parish loses its resident priest. It is challenging for both the parish and for the whole Pastoral Area. Over the past seven years, as a diocese we have grown in our ability to give good support to these parishes as they adjust. Recent consultations with the ‘parishes without a resident priest’ have shown that they are quite positive about their situation.
A parish without a resident priest means that the priests in the other three or four parishes in their Pastoral Area together provide a full service in that parish. In that situation no priest is any longer full-time in his parish of residence, each also ministers in the other parishes.
The parish without a resident priest remains a fully independent parish with its own committees for pastoral, liturgical and financial matters. There is no change as regards baptisms, funerals, weddings, First Communions, Confirmations, and First Friday calls. The parish continues to have its own identity. The challenge that all of us face together is to provide the best service to all 53 parishes in the diocese with the resources we have. The hope and the intention is that all the parishes of our diocese have good energy and life and that the parish without a resident priest has the same fullness of parish life as every other parish. As Christian communities we seek to stay close to Jesus Christ in prayer, striving to live daily by faith and hope, loving God, his creation and our neighbour.
In all parishes many people are more and more involved in the life of their parish and Pastoral Area. This is how it should be. This involvement and this sharing of responsibility, is their right and their obligation by virtue of their Baptism and their Confirmation. By Baptism each is a member of the People of God, by Confirmation each is empowered to play their full part as a member of God’s family. The Diocesan Pastoral Team continues to provide training and support to the laity enriching their faith and enhancing their participation in their parish. Pope Francis in ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ uses the phrase ‘missionary disciples’ to describe all of us who are baptised:
In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (Mt 28:19). . . . Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: (120)
May God give courage strength and guidance to all the parish communities in our diocese. God’s will be done.
Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us.
Bishop Ray Browne
Diocese of Kerry
28 June 2019
Bishop Ray Browne wishes to announce the following changes to the appointments of clergy in the Diocese of Kerry:
Msgr. Dan O’Riordan P.P. Castleisland retiring
Very Rev. Luke Roche PP Castlemaine retiring
Very Rev. Tadhg Ó Dochartaigh P.P. Firies retiring
Fr. Maurice Brick PP Lixnaw to be PP Castleisland
Fr. Anthony O’Sullivan Rathmore (pro tem) to be PP Lixnaw
Fr. Michael Hussey PP Castlegregory to be PP Ballylongford
Fr. Eamon Mulvihill PP Kilcummin to be PP Castlegregory
Fr. Joe Begley PP Dingle to be PP Glengarriff/Bonane
Fr. Michael Moynihan PP Glengarriff/Bonane to be PP Dingle
Fr. Padraig Kennelly PP Ballylongford to be PP Firies
Two more parishes without a Resident Priest:
The parish of Castlemaine will be served by the priests of the Killorglin Pastoral Area with Fr. Kevin Sullivan to be Moderator
The parish of Kilcummin will be served by the priests of the Killarney Pastoral Area with Fr. Kieran O’Brien to be Moderator
Fr. Denis O’Mahony PP Abbeydorney to be VF of the Naomh Bhréanainn Pastoral Area
Fr. Brendan Walsh PP Causeway to be Moderator of Ballyheigue
Priests of all Pastoral Areas of the Diocese take up different responsibilities outside their own parishes and within the Pastoral Area. This will be decided and communicated locally.
These changes will become effective on Wednesday, July 17th 2019