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Diocesan Appointments 2019

Kildare and Leighlin Diocesan Appointments 2019

Diocesan Changes in Kildare & Leighlin for 2019

I am delighted to announce the following changes that take effect on Sunday, July 7th next. There are a number of priests retiring this year and I want to express my deep appreciation and thanks to them, while in retirement they are still willing to assist the life of the diocese in any way they can: Fr. Ger O’Byrne (Rathangan), Fr. Gerry Byrne (Graignamanagh), Fr. Jim McCormack (Hacketstown) and Fr. Michael Kelly (Raheen).

The unexpected death of Fr. John Cummins (Abbeyleix) last January has left a great void in our diocesan life and I fondly remember John and particularly on this day of appointments. I thank Mgr. Caoimhín O’Neill and the priests in Portlaoise for assisting in Abbeyleix and Ballyroan in these past intervening months.

I thank Fr. Mark Townsend who moves from the northern end of the diocese to the southern end in these changes. I thank Fr. Bill Kemmy, Fr. Paddy Byrne, Fr. Terence McGovern, and Fr. Declan Thompson SPS who all take up Parish Priest appointments for the first time this year. Appointments are no longer simply filling gaps or spaces, but speaking into a wider vision and plan. To all who are stepping into leadership positions in the diocese, once again many thanks and be assured of my full support and that of the people you will work with.

How we look on parish life into the future will be very different. Our Diocesan Pastoral Council and other agencies of the diocese will continue to work to offer greater support to all our parishes. With this in mind I have appointed Fr. Liam Morgan, Vicar for Parish Renewal & Development in addition to his duties as PP of Naas, Sallins & Two Mile House.

We have been blessed with the arrival of priests from other countries into our diocese in recent years. Later this summer we will welcome our ninth priest and our third from Romania, Fr. Ciprian Matei. In addition to Fr. Ciprian, Fr. Bernard Reyhart and Fr. Petru Medves take up parish curacies across the diocese.

Faith Development Services is entering its fifteenth year in the diocese. I thank the team there and wish Fr. Ger Ahern well as takes on the role of Director of FDS in succession to Fr. John. I also wish Fr. Pat Hennessy well as he takes up the role as Priest Director with ACCORD in Carlow. Fr. Joe O’Neill, having spent six very fruitful months working with the Deaf Community in Dublin will avail of his sabbatical opportunity in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

I wish all the priests every blessing in their appointments this year and thank them for engaging so positively with the process. As always, I encourage every parish to put prayer for vocations at the heart of their Sunday liturgy. I thank the lay faithful of our diocese who are so welcoming, encouraging and affirming of our priests. No one likes change, so I ask you to encourage and pray for those involved in this years changes over the coming weeks.


The full list of changes is as follows:

Fr. Gerard O’Byrne PP Rathangan to become PE CC Rathangan

Fr. Gerry Byrne PP Graignamanagh to retire and reside in Leighlinbridge

Fr. Jim McCormack PP Hacketstown to become PE CC Hacketstown

Fr. Michael Kelly SPS PP Raheen to retire

Fr. Mark Townsend PP Daingean to become PP Graignamanagh

Fr. Bill Kemmy CC Prosperous to become PP Rathangan, while continuing his iCatholic ministry

Fr. Paddy Byrne CC Portlaoise to become PP Abbeyleix & PP Raheen

Fr. Terence McGovern CC Hacketstown to become PP Hacketstown

Fr. Declan Thompson SPS CC Bagenalstown to become PP Daingean

Fr. Bernard Reyhart, Archdiocese of Colombo, Sri Lanka to become CC Prosperous

Fr. Petru Medves, Archdiocese of Bucharest, Romania to become CC Bagenalstown

Fr. Ciprian Matei, Archdiocese of Bucharest, Romania to become CC Portlaoise

Fr. Liam Morgan PP Naas, Two-Mile House & Sallins appointed Vicar for Parish Renewal & Development

Fr. Ger Ahern PP Baltinglass to become Director of Faith Development Services

Fr. Pat Hennessy PP Leighlin to become Director of ACCORD Carlow

Fr. Joe O’Neill, Chaplain to the Deaf to be released on loan to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles