Well done and thank you
Indeed, how good is the Lord, eternal his merciful love. He is faithful from age to age. Ps.99
It has been a difficult and challenging year for every aspect of parish life, with limited or no congregations in church, the restrictions on funerals and weddings, and so much more. Many homes and individuals have been seriously affected. Together, ever there for one another, we have come through. Sincere thanks to all clergy and the whole community, for their dedicated service. A special word of thanks to parish secretaries.
The pandemic has been with us for almost 18 months. I am conscious that our churches still cannot accommodate all who would like to attend weekend Masses. Please consider attending a weekday Mass instead. How long since members of your family has been in church? Do your young children visit the church to say a prayer and light a candle? As a Christian how do you mark Sunday, the Lord’s Day? It is important that we all keep regular contact with God. In these difficult times, God is a source of security and comfort.
It is a difficult time to announce the annual clergy appointments. It is difficult for a priest to leave a parish after a year of ‘near total lockdown’ and it is difficult to move to a new parish with ongoing restrictions on all personal contacts likely to continue.
This summer appointments
The appointments this summer reveal the reality of three more parishes to be served by the priests of the Pastoral Area, with one priest taking a leadership role as Moderator. We now have 12 such parishes and it was ten years ago, in July 2011, that we had the first, the parish of Allihies, on the Beara peninsula.
Parish Priests are no longer full-time in their own parishes, they have a definite time commitment to the parish served by the priests of the Pastoral Area. Parish priests in the less populated parishes find themselves assisting in the town parish with its big population and many schools. It is particularly important that the parish with a Moderator continues to have the same sense of purpose, energy, and leadership as the other parishes in the Pastoral Area. It is a great challenge to all in the Pastoral Area, clergy, and laity, to ensure that all parishes continue to thrive and develop.
Pope Benedict addressed a Pastoral Convention of the diocese of Rome in May 2009 said: “To what extent is the pastoral co-responsibility of all, and particularly of the laity, recognised and encouraged? … They (the laity) must no longer be viewed as “collaborators” of the clergy but truly recognised as “co-responsible” for the Church’s being and action …”
Every baptised person shares this pastoral co-responsibility. The hope is that greater and greater participation of the laity in all aspects of parish life will enable each parish to continue to thrive. Thank you to all the laity active in all our parishes and to the sacristans and parish secretaries and all parish committee members.
At present there is wide consultation taking place throughout the diocese, regarding developing a diocesan plan for the next five years. Central themes in that plan will be: the good care of all our parishes; the continued nurturing of the faith of people of all ages; and the pastoral co-responsibility of the laity for the whole life of the parish.
Welcome and congratulations
Welcome back to the diocese Fr Bernard Healy after three years of doctoral studies in Rome. Welcome to Fr Brendan Carmody S.J. who has volunteered to serve in the diocese for three years. Fr Brendan is a native of Listowel and he has been a priest in Zambia for 27 years. He has also spent some years in Dublin and London.
A special mention and congratulations to the priests among us who are celebrating Jubilees of their Ordination. We have three priests celebrating 50 years, and six priests celebrating 40 years. Many of them have spent almost all their years in parish work in the diocese. Their lives have been a gift and a blessing to the diocese. We live in different times from when those priests were ordained. There are so few young priests in Ireland today. Thank God we have two seminarians in formation. Continue to pray for vocations and please do everything you can at local level to foster and promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
We are grateful to have the support of two priests from Kitale diocese in Kenya, and four other priests on loan from their Missionary Congregation or Order. All these priests have ministered in regions of the world with far fewer priests than we have. In those regions, parishes are fully alive because the laity are involved in all aspects of the faith and the life of the Christian community in the parish. These priests can share ideas with us, as we continue to adjust to having fewer priests in the years ahead.
God our Father, open our eyes to the needs of our sisters and brothers.
May your Church stand as a living witness to truth and freedom,
to peace and justice, that all people may be raised up to a new hope.
Bishop Ray Browne
Diocese of Kerry
16 July 2021.
Diocese of Kerry Appointments July 2021
Bishop Ray Browne wishes to announce the following changes of appointment of clergy of the Diocese of Kerry:
Fr. Tom Crean, PP Kenmare.
Fr. John Lawlor, PP Ballydonoghue.
Fr. Con Buckley, PP Kilgarvan.
Fr. George Hayes PP Glenflesk to be PP Kenmare.
Fr. Kevin McNamara, PP Moyvane to be PP Glenflesk.
Fr. Brendan Carmody SJ to be PP Moyvane.
Fr. Martin Spillane, PP Caherdaniel, to be PP Brosna.
Fr. Bernard Healy further Studies Rome to be CC, St. John’s, Tralee.
The parish of Ballydonoghue will be served by the priests of the North Kerry Pastoral Area, with Fr. Sean Hanafin as Moderator.
The parish of Kilgarvan will be served by the priests of the Kenmare Pastoral Area, with Fr. Joe Begley as Moderator.
The parish of Caherdaniel will be served by the priests of the Iveragh Pastoral Area with Fr. Gerard Finucane as Moderator.
Priests of all Pastoral Areas of the Diocese may take up various 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 4th 2021
Fr. Nicholas Flynn