August 12th 2007

Bishop Jim Moriarty has announced the following diocesan appointments.

V. Rev. Fr. P.J. McEvoy, PP, SCF, The Curragh to be PP, Edenderry and Rhode, Co. Offaly

Rt. Rev. Msgr John McDonald, PP, Edenderry to be PP, SCF, The Curragh, Co. Kildare.

(SCF – Senior Chaplain to Defence Forces)

V. Rev. Fr. Peter Cribbin, PP, Rhode, Co Offaly, resigning.

V. Rev. Fr. Denis Harrington PP Clane, to be PE, CC, Clane, Co. Kildare.

(PE – Pastor Emeritus honorary term referring to former PP)

Rev. Fr. Paul OBoyle CC, Clane to be PP, Clane, Co. Kildare.

Rev. Fr. Kevin Walsh, CC, Edenderry to be CC Edenderry and Rhode, residing in Rhode, Co. Offaly.

Fewer Priests

The 2007 changesagain reflect the reality that we have a decreasing number of priests and some priests are now needed to work in more than one parish. The large numbers that were ordained from through the 1950s and into the 1960s are now reaching retirement age. (Parish Priests, like Bishops, are obliged to offer their resignation when they reach 75 years of age).

In recent years, there has not been sufficient ordinations to maintain the numbers that we took for granted in recent decades.

There are now 90 K&L priests on the ‘active list’, with a further 16 priests in retirement. Another 9 priests belonging to various religious orders also have diocesan appointments – some working in parishes as well astwo prison chaplains and a chaplain to the Defence Forces (Curragh).

Of the 90 K&L priests on the ‘active list’ –

  • 32 priests are ordained 40 or more years (1967 and earlier)
  • 18 priests are ordained 30 – 39 years (1968 – 1977)
  • 14 priests are ordained 20 – 29 years (1978 – 1987)
  • 17priests are ordained 10 – 19 years (1988 – 1997)
  • 9 priests are ordained less than 10 years (1998 and later)

These figures confirm that the age profile of the ‘active’ K&L priests is clearly ‘top-heavy’ and further reductions in the overall number on the active list are inevitable in the foreseeable future – up to 2015.

However, it is possible that a resurgence in ordinations will begin to arrest this trend beyond that point. It usually takes six or seven years studies before someone is ordained, so there is certain ‘lag’ before any possible change could happen.

At the present time, the diocese has seven students for the priesthood including three beginning their studies this September in Maynooth.

Linked Parishes

Given the reality of a decreasing number of priests in recent years, it has been necessary to appoint priests to work in more than one parish. The parishes still retain their separate identity and finances.

The ‘clusters’ of linked parishes include –

  • Naas/Sallins/Two-Mile House
  • Edenderry/Rhode
  • Portarlington/Emo
  • Mountrath/Ballyfin
  • Askea/Bennekerry