Summer is here again and thank God we are quite hopeful that Covid will be under good control. It has been a difficult and challenging year for us all. Ever there for one another, together we have come through. Sincere thanks to all clergy and so many in all our parish communities, for their dedicated service throughout the year. A special word of thanks to parish secretaries.
A Christian Sunday
It is good to see many have returned to regular weekend church attendance. As a Christian how do you mark Sunday, the Lord’s Day? I encourage every home to think about it and make a definite decision. Henceforth, what part will “having time for God and for prayer” play in your Sunday? Do you intend to gather regularly with your fellow parishioners on Sunday mornings to offer together Christ’s sacrifice, to offer Holy Mass?
If young children do not grow up with a familiarity with prayer in the home and regular Sunday Mass, will they grow up to have faith in Jesus Christ and God present among us? It is important that we all keep regular contact with God. In these difficult times, God is a source of security and comfort.
Thank you to all who already serve in our parishes, priests, deacons and laity. Thanks to our religious-education teachers in Primary and Secondary schools. Thanks to our chaplains in schools, hospitals and in MTU, Tralee. It is good news that Fr Amos and Fr Vitalis, our two priests on loan from Kitale diocese in Kenya, will be with us for a further three years. Their joy in their faith is an inspiration to us all. Continue to pray for vocations and for our two seminarians that they will in time be priests among us.
This Summer appointments
This Summer’s appointments are few. Still, they effect four Pastoral Areas, and it will take time for each to adjust. Sincere thanks to Fr Tom Leane P.P. Dromtariffe, who has reached the retirement age, having given wonderful loving service for more than fifty years. In the Duhallow/Sliabh Luachra Pastoral Area, Dromtariffe parish will now be served by the priests of the Pastoral Area. We have had a large number of priests celebrating Jubilees this year including two silver, two golden and two diamond. Thank God for their lives of priestly service.
Each year retirements means fewer priests in our parishes. Sadly, this is something that will continue. It is vital that our recently launched new initiative “Ministry of lay Pastoral Leader” be successful. In the leaflet introducing this Ministry I wrote: “In an era when priests and religious were more plentiful, so much was left in their care. Today they are fewer in number. Sustaining the fullness of life in the parish family requires the participation, commitment, and leadership of the laity. Hence, I warmly welcome the “Ministry of Lay Pastoral Leadership” that we embark upon.” As Pope Benedict said in 2009, “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 …”
The Synodal Pathway Worldwide and in Ireland
Thank you to the three-member diocesan Synodal Pathway team, and to all who participated in the listening gatherings held throughout the diocese before Easter. This is part of the worldwide preparation Pope Francis requested as preparation for the Synod in Rome in October 2023. It is just the beginning; Pope Francis wants that “hearing all voices” become a permanent part of Church life everywhere. In a recent National Synodal Pathway gathering in Athlone, the welcome address gave the following explanation of what is involved:
“We are going to be journeying together for a significant amount of time. In fact, we are going to be journeying together and learning to journey together perpetually. If we are to learn to listen so that we might truly understand each other, if we are to learn how to rely on the Holy Spirit more than on ourselves, and if we are to learn how to dialogue with others, ‘Synodality’ is the path expected of us in the third millennium.”
I encourage everyone to read on the diocesan website the ten-page synopsis of our discussions throughout the diocese. It summarises the issues people considered in need of deep reflection.
In God we trust
At that gathering in Athlone, a piece of scripture from the prophet Isaiah was proposed to us: Thus says the Lord,
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Is 43:19-21
In the diocese of Kerry, we are called to be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, trusting in God to lead us along the right path.
Bishop Ray Browne
1st July 2022
Clerical Appointments July 2022
Bishop Ray Browne wishes to announce the following changes of appointment of clergy of the Diocese of Kerry:
Fr. Tom Leane, PP Dromtariffe
Fr. Joseph Begley Glengarriff to the Killarney Pastoral area and to minister in Killarney.
Fr. Jim Lenihan Killarney to the Killarney Pastoral area and to be PP Glenflesk.
Fr. Niall Howard Killarney to the Kenmare Pastoral area and to be PP Glengarriff.
Fr. Sean Jones St. John’s, Tralee to the Killarney Pastoral area and to minister in Killarney.
The parish of Dromtariffe will be served by the priests of the Duhallow/Sliabh Luchra Pastoral Area, with Fr. Jack Fitzgerald as Moderator.
Priests of all Pastoral Areas of the Diocese take up additional 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 20th 2022
Fr. Nicholas Flynn