Statement Read by Bishop Denis at Tinryland Sunday Mass on August 20th

I chose to celebrate Mass here in Tinryland this morning, since the Parochial House here in Tinryland occupied until the very recent past by Fr. Seán Hyland remains empty since he left a few weeks back. I had invited Fr. Liam Lawton, whom you know very well, to move from his home in Crossneen, Graiguecullen here to Tinryland while he would continue his very valuable music ministry while remaining ministering in Graiguecullen Parish.

As you know I have in recent weeks also visited the Diocese of Iasi in Romania to explore how we might support projects out there in exchange for priests coming to minister in our Diocese. I am delighted to announce today that our first Romanian priest will arrive to Kildare & Leighlin on August 29th next. Because of this very swift response by the Iasi Diocese of Romania, I have asked Fr. Liam Lawton to remain in Crossneen and I’m going to ask you the people of Tinryland to welcome Fr. Eugen Dragos Tamas, to make him feel at home here and take him to your hearts as one of your own.

Obviously he will need to settle in for a number of weeks into Irish life and pastoral practice. During that period he will reside in Carlow. After those early weeks have passed, he will make his way out here to Tinryland. In the meantime I ask you the great people of Tinryland to work with Fr. Tom Little to prepare the Parochial House for its new arrival; I saw the wonderful job you did on the Grotto in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes below, so I know how skilled and able all of you are.

This is obviously another step in the larger Diocesan conversation we are having around priests numbers and parish appointments. Fr. Eugen Dragos is 28 years old and was ordained a priest in June 2015. His interests are I.T. and Computers – lets hope Tinryland has a good wifi connection! I know you will make him very welcome, as you have all priests in the past.

It is great to welcome Fr. Eamonn Hayden a native of Tinryland home on his annual vacation from his work in Lusaka in Zambia; just as Fr. Eamonn went to Lusaka from Tinryland all those years ago, the time has come for Lusaka to come to Kildare & Leighlin, for Iasi to come to Tinryland.

You appreciate it is my expressed intention to keep all our 117 churches open. This won’t happen without support from outside Ireland. This won’t happen without lay people taking a greater role of leadership in their local faith communities. I have no doubt you the people of Tinryland will support me wholeheartedly in this pilot-project. In the coming months my hope is that a second Romanian priest will come to work in the Diocese. He will also live in the Presbytery at Tinryland. Tinryland will become a beacon for the Diocese in this current conversation about the new pastoral reality that is unfolding all around us. As I speak I think of the late and much loved Fr. P.J. Byrne buried here in the cemetery outside; I cannot but think he is giving this project his full endorsement.

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Brigid, pray for us.
St. Laserian, pray for us.
St. Conleth, pray for us.

Many thanks for all your support and encouragement.