Bishop Ray on Clerical Appointments 2020

May the Lord of peace himself give you peace all the time

and in every way. The Lord be with you all.     2 Thess 3:16

The corona virus

It is now four months since the corona virus began to dominate our lives. Thank God for the way we as a country have responded. Thank God for all front-line workers. Thank God for the ‘care for one another’ evident in all our communities.

As we complete the phases of returning to ordinary living, my prayer is that, collectively and individually we will adjust our contact with each other in accordance with all public health guidance, in order to keep the virus suppressed throughout our communities.

New appointments in 2020

My hope was to have very few new appointments this summer. This became even more a priority in the light of the corona virus.  Amid the corona virus the welcomes and farewells are difficult for the priests and their communities.

Sadly, in recent months two of our priests died, Fr Liam Comer and Fr Michael Fleming. Both were faith-filled, capable priests and much loved by their communities. Sincere sympathy to their families and to their parish communities. May they Rest in Peace. Fr. Tom Looney is also retiring this year. We thank him and wish him well. Taking all this into account thank God the number of appointments this year is quite small. Our priests demonstrate a great spirit of willingness to accept new appointments, in the interest of best serving all the fifty-three parishes in the diocese.

Fr Amos and Fr Vitalis came to our diocese from Kitale diocese in Kenya just a year ago. What courage they showed in taking on such an enormous change of world and culture! Their only prior knowledge of Ireland was through their bishop being a Cork man, and through knowing several Irish missionary sisters and priests. People have remarked that it is wonderful to have two priests so young, joyful, and content. They give great witness to faith in Jesus Christ and to the vocation of being a priest. Their joy in Christ challenges us all. I recently read a statement regarding how the Church in Africa and Ireland/Europe differs: “In Africa the priest helps the people, in the west the people help the priest”.  May their presence among us help the development of lay ministry. We thank them for their inspiring presence and for coming to the diocese of Kerry.

Facing the future with Hope

Over the next five years we will have priests retiring each year. The corona virus and the requirement that all people over seventy and all others with serious underlying medical conditions should shield/cocoon gave us a vivid reminder of the age profile of our priests. We are blessed that priests continue to minister up to the age of seventy-five. Thank God for their years of dedicated, faithful ministry. Thank God for our two seminarians preparing to serve as priests in the diocese. Please continue to pray for them and for more vocations to the diocesan priesthood and the diaconate.

A listening process commenced in the diocese, as part of a pastoral planning process, earlier this year. The listening happens at parish, pastoral area and diocese level. Questions include: What is our mission as the people of God? What are the challenges we face in the years ahead? What are our priorities? What next steps do we take to further develop lay ministry?

Two challenging statements come to mind:

In an era of fewer and fewer priests, our great task is to continue to have the fullness of parish life in each parish.

We have within our parish communities all the gifts, talents and faith we need for the whole diocese to continue to thrive and we can make this happen.

The years ahead will mean much more lay ministry. Lay ministry is people of faith living out their baptism calling to share their faith with others, by both word and example. Clergy will work side by side with the laity. We are one and all co-responsible for the life of the whole People of God, the Church.

May God give courage, strength, and guidance to all the parish communities in our diocese. Please continue to be mindful of the needs of all your neighbours as we continue to live with the virus.  God’s will be done.

Our Lady health of the sick, pray for us.

Bishop Ray Browne

Diocese of Kerry

17 July 2020.

Bishop Ray Browne wishes to announce the following changes to the appointments of clergy

in the Diocese of Kerry:

Fr. James Linnane Assistant Priest St John’s Tralee retiring

Fr. Tom Looney PP Fossa retiring


Fr. Kevin Sullivan Milltown to be PP Killorglin

Fr. Pat Crean Lynch Spa to be PP Ardfert

Fr. Francis Nolan to be PP Spa with continuing ministry in St. John’s Tralee

Fr. Danny Broderick Eyeries to be PP Milltown

Fr. Jerry Keane Annascaul to be PP Eyeries

Fr. Niall Geaney Our Lady and St. Brendan’s Tralee to be PP Fossa

Fr. Vitalis Barasa to minister in St. John’s Tralee

Fr. Amos Surungai Ruto to minister in Our Lady and St. Brendan’s Tralee

Fr. Donal O’ Conor Chaplain IT Tralee to be priest in residence Annascaul

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, August 5th 2020

Fr. Nicholas Flynn

Diocesan Secretary

17th July, 2020