Announcement regarding Kildare & Leighlin Diocesan Appointments 2016
Yesterday, Trinity Sunday, I concluded my last parish confirmation ceremony for 2016, a journey that has taken me into forty of our fifty-six parishes. I continue to be very taken with the affinity which parishes have with their priests, none more so that the affection evident following the death of the late Fr. P.J. Byrne. The priest is, as he should be, very much part of the community; the priest is very much owned by the people and the parish. Changing appointment in a priest’s life is neither easy on the priest nor the people he has worked with. In honesty none of us relish change and yet when it is offered, it can often be the door that opens up new opportunities in life.
In different conversations with all our priests at assembly gatherings over the past year, I agreed to make the appointments a bit earlier in the year, in the hope that the priest who is being moved, has the opportunity over the summer months to settle into his new surrounds. I am so aware of the huge demands on priests in 2016, and each year the changes will get that bit more tight to ensure all parishes have priest cover. Along with the Appointments Committee and the Priests Council, I am in ongoing conversation with the Diocese of Iasi in Romania around the possibility of a couple of priests from there spending a few years with us in our diocese.
I am also aware that next Sunday one of our seminarians David Vard from Newbridge, will be ordained to the diaconate. I wish him every blessing and commend him to your prayers. It’s incumbent on us all to continue to pray for vocations. Two years ago I appointed Fr. Ruairí Ó Domhnaill as a full time Vocations Director; he now returns to Parish duties while retaining his Vocation brief. Obviously the past two years have given him a good opportunity to sow the seeds that will be harvested by all of us together, working and praying for vocations.
Regarding the substance of the changes this year, I want to begin by wishing the two retiring priests every blessing – Fr. Jim O’Connell PP Stradbally who is fifty years ordained this summer, and Fr. Jim Gahan PP Clonmore as he takes up less onerous duties in the parishes of Clonmore and Hacketstown. This year sees the appointment in total of eight Parish Priests and five Curates. I sincerely thank all who are involved in the changes and wish them the very best as they take up their new commitments in the summer. The new appointments are all to come into effect on July 1st 2016.
Kildare & Leighlin Diocesan Appointments 2016
Fr. Jim O’Connell PP Stradbally to retire and reside in Mountrath
Fr. Jim Gahan PP Clonmore to retire as Parish Priest and to become CC in Clonmore / Hacketstown
Fr. James Kelly PP Raheen to become PP Paulstown
Fr. John McEvoy PP Paulstown to become PP Rathvilly while continuing as a Vice-President in Carlow College
Fr. John O’Brien PP Borris to become PP Clonmore
Fr. Michael Kelly SPS Adm Rathvilly to become PP Raheen
Fr. Sean Maher CC Clonmore / Hacketstown to become PP Stradbally
Fr. Rory Nolan CC Tullow to become PP Borris
Fr. Ruairí Ó Domhnaill, Vocations Director to become CC Cathedral & Vocations Director
Fr. Alex Kochatt CC Kilcock to become CC Naas
Fr. George Augustine CC Portlaoise to become CC Kilcock
Fr. Terence McGovern CC Newbridge to become CC Portlaoise
Fr. Brian Maguire SPS to become CC Newbridge
Fr. John Roche SSCC CC Cathedral to return to the Diocese of Los Angeles
Appointments that were announced some weeks back:
Fr. John Brickley PP Naas to become PP Kilcock
Fr. Liam Morgan CC Naas to become PP Naas