Monsignor Dan O’Riordan has been re-appointed to his present posting in Castleisland parish for a further six-year term. The announcement came following a re-shuffle of diocesan appointments by Bishop Ray Browne just before the weekend.
As well as Monsignor O’Riordan the following priests having completed their six-year tenures and have been re-appointed to their parishes:
Fr. Seán Hanafin, St John’s, Tralee; Fr. Liam Comer, Dromtarriffe; Fr. Brendan Walsh, Causeway; Fr. John Buckley, Annascaul and Fr. Eugene Kiely, Ballyferriter.
An additional priest has been assigned to take up duties in the parish of Killarney as part of the new arrangements and transfers implemented by Bishop Browne.
Fr Jim Linehan, who has been administrator in Eyeries on the Beara Peninsula, is to move to St Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney as curate. There, he will join parish administrator Fr. Kieran O’Brien, Fr Niall Howard and Canon Pat Horgan as well as a number of retired priests who offer assistance with Masses and other services.
For the first time in a number of years, no retirements have been announced for Kerry diocese but two priests – Kenmare and Sneem curate Fr Liam Lovell and Asdee curate Fr Joseph Tarrant have been granted a sabbatical year.
Fr. Liam O’Brien, currently in Killorglin, will transfer to Sneem and Fr. Con Buckley returns from sabbatical to join the Sneem pastoral area, with specific responsibilities for the parish of Kilgarvan.
As previously announced, Tarbert will no longer have a resident parish priest and Farranfore native, Fr. Danny Broderick, who had served there, will take over from Fr. Jim Linehan in Eyeries and will have an input in the parish of Allihies.
The only other appointment is that of Fr. Tomás Ó Caoimh who is to be chaplain to the Ardfert Retreat Centre and will reside in Our Lady and St Brendan’s Parish in Tralee.
Commenting on the appointments, Bishop Browne said parish life is healthy throughout the diocese and there is a genuine sense of co-responsibility among people and priests.
“Lay involvement continues to develop and strengthen. So many people everywhere value their parish and wish to contribute to its ongoing health and strength.
“The year-long course in pastoral ministry has been of great benefit and I encourage every parish to ensure that a number from their own parish participate,” he said.
The bishop said coping with change is stressful for everyone, including priests and parish communities, and being a parish without a resident priest is particularly difficult.
“We have sufficient priests to serve the needs of our diocese, urban and rural, in the years immediately ahead. However, the average age of our priests continues to increase,” he said.
“We all need to promote and pray for vocations to the diocesan priesthood.
Are there single men, of whatever age, who at this time are feeling that God might be calling them to serve as priests in our diocese? I believe God will provide for our needs from among ourselves.” Bishop Browne remarked.
The changes, communicated by Diocesan Secretary Fr. Donal O’Neill, will become effective on Wednesday, July 16.