Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing for joy. Ps. 99
New Appointments As is traditional, the list is made public today, the last Friday in June. This year two priests retire, Fr Denis O’Mahony and Fr Martin Sheehan. I thank them sincerely for their great service over many years. They are fondly remembered by the people of the parishes where they served. I wish them good health and happiness in retirement. I also thank the priests who have readily agreed to uproot and move to new parishes.
With the two retirements we now will have two more parishes ‘served by the priests of their pastoral areas’. This causes change and adjustment in the lives of both clergy and people (especially parish staff and volunteers) in all the parishes of those pastoral areas. It involves an extra workload on the priests. I deeply appreciate the willingness of all to do this. It is important to remember that not only are some parishes without a resident priest, but all priests are no longer fulltime in their own parishes due to their commitments in the parishes without a resident priest. I fully understand that people are saddened by our constant adjusting to fewer and fewer priests. Be aware that this is happening in every diocese in Ireland, Great Britain and most western countries.
Weekend Masses One of the most visible results of these appointments is change in the number and times of weekend Masses in the parishes of the pastoral areas. Unfortunately, in some situations people will have less choice of Masses. It will require extra effort/sacrifice for people to gather with their community for Sunday vigil/morning Mass. I compliment all the people and church areas for the way they have recovered post-Covid in terms of attendance at Mass, and the return of choirs, altar servers, readers, ministers of the Eucharist and those involved with the Sacred Space. We are all conscious that Mass is both a truly privileged time in God’s company, and our most important expression of our being one family under God our Father. I encourage families to reflect on the question, “How often in these summer months of July and August will we adults and children gather with our community for Sunday Mass. What time in each Sunday will we give to God?”
Year of Vocation Throughout Ireland the year 2023, until next Easter, is being observed as a year of Vocation. The theme has in mind especially vocations to the diocesan priesthood: – but not just that, every Christian has a calling in life, every Christian as a member of God’s family has their part to play in the life of God’s family. Vocation includes the vocation of every baptised person as well as the vocation of permanent diaconate and of all forms of consecrated life. Pray for the twenty-six adults who for the past eighteen months have been undertaking the diocesan formation programme in ‘Lay Leadership’ and for the service they will give in their local pastoral area / parish in their years ahead. Within the next year we will seek to have another group commence this programme.
In the context of vocation, we thank God for the vocation to the priesthood of Mark Moriarty who will be ordained priest in the Cathedral on Sunday August 13th. I ask all parishes to have a Holy Hour during their usual weekly time of Parish Adoration, or on the Friday or Saturday night that weekend: in thanksgiving for Mark’s vocation; asking God’s blessing on his life as a priest; and praying for the fullness of parish life in all the fifty-three parishes of our diocese. We hope to have a further ordination to the priesthood within eighteen months, and a person commencing his first year of seminary formation in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth in the Autumn.
Synodality In the past two years much has been said and written of ‘synodality’. Synodality is most appropriate in this time of significant change and adjustment. We need to hear as many voices as possible as we confront the challenges we face as people of faith, as Christian communities, and as a diocese. The spirit of challenge and hope required is well captured in a quote I used this time last year: “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.”
Solidarity A final word to acknowledge the difficulties of the past year. I think first of the awfulness of the war in Ukraine and the suffering of its people. Here in Ireland, I am conscious of the struggle of many people. To give just two instances, so many couples and individuals are finding it impossible to get accommodation that they can call home, and so many households are in debt due to electricity or fuel bills. As Catholic communities we pray and strive for a world, globally and locally, that is more just and fair, a world where all can live in peace.
Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love,
He is faithful from age to age. Ps. 99
Bishop Ray Browne
Diocese of Kerry
30 June 2023
Diocese of Kerry Appointments July 2023
Bishop Ray Browne wishes to announce the following changes to the appointments of clergy in the Diocese of Kerry:
Fr. Denis O’Mahony PP Abbeydorney
Fr. Martin Sheehan PP Adrigole
Fr. John Kerin Tousist to be PP Eyeries
Fr. Jerry Keane Eyeries to be PP Abbeydorney
Following the transfer of Fr. John Kerin, the parish of Tousist will be served by the priests of the Kenmare Pastoral Area, with Fr. Niall Howard as Moderator.
Following Fr. Martin Sheehan retiring as PP of Adrigole, the parish of Adrigole will be served by the priests of the Beara Pastoral Area with Fr Noel Spring as Moderator.
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 19th 2023
Fr. Nicholas Flynn