Three Kerry parishes lose priest in transfersWednesday, July 11st, 2012
The decline in vocations in some dioceses was brought home at the weekend with news that three parishes in the Diocese of Kerry are to lose a priest.
In the latest round of transfers announced by the Bishop of Kerry Dr Bill Murphy, the parish of Rathmore is to go from three to two priests, while the large towns of Dingle and Caharciveen will now just have one resident priest instead of two previously.
Speaking about the changes to the Irish Examiner, the diocese of Kerry's Director of Pastoral Development, Fr Gearóid Godley said, “There would be quite a challenge facing those priests who are remaining in the affected parishes. While there are now fewer priests, people's expectations will be the same. The workload remains the same and is even more challenging in some ways. What is encouraging however is the increased involvement of lay people in the Catholic Church in Kerry.”
Fr Godley revealed that there are over 7,000 people giving their time voluntarily to church work.
“This is a welcome development and is the way the church should be going.” While there are no students from the diocese of Kerry training for the priesthood at the moment, there are high hopes that a number will begin studies later this year.”
Three priests in the diocese of Kerry that also includes part of County Cork, are retiring this year. They are Fr Philip O'Connell PP Ballylongford, Fr Patrick Surgrue PP, Kileentierna and Fr Jim Browne CC Rathmore.
Fr Godley added that in the past, newly ordained students filled the gaps left by those retiring but that now gaps had to be filled from within The changes take effect in the diocese on July 25.
by Sean Ryan