Tara’s Grá for Religion Leads to Pastoral Ministry Certificate

Castleisland Parish Pastoral Minister, Tara Howarth with the certificate she received from Bishop Ray Browne at St.John’s Pastoral Centre in Tralee on Wednesday night. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Bishop Ray Browne with Tara Howarth after he presented her with a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry in Tralee on Wednesday evening. Tara’s mother, Mary is included in the picture.

After a weekly, Wednesday night course spanning 20 weeks Castleisland woman Tara Howarth qualified as a Pastoral Minister and was presented with a certificate by Bishop Ray Browne in St. John’s Pastoral Centre in Tralee.

Tara enjoys being part of parish life and sharing her faith with the community and, like many people who choose the various roads of life, she’s had an inspirational teacher at secondary school level:

A Grá for Religion

“I have always had a grá for religion since I was in secondary school. I had a wonderful religion teacher in the late St. Stephanie Cashman,” said Tara.

Sr. Stephanie Cashman was a guiding light for Tara. ©Photograph: John Reidy 17-6-2000.

“She not only taught me religion but also taught me to believe in myself which in today’s language would be Positive Mental Health education.

Inspiration and Strength

“I studied Theology and Philosophy in Carlow College where I met Liam Lawton who was the spiritual director at the time. His music has inspired me and has given me great strength.
I have been involved in Parish Ministry for a long time as a minister of the word, Eucharistic minister and a collector.

Part of Parish Life

“I love being part of parish life and to be able to share my faith with the community. I have always felt a strong connection with God and I am always eager to learn more about my faith.

I was delighted to be able to do the Parish Ministry course. I had no idea what to expect but I knew that God would give me the strength and the courage to go on this wonderful journey.
St. John’s Pastoral Centre
“The course was on for 20 Wednesday nights in St. John’s Pastoral Centre in Tralee. We had different speakers every night and our two course facilitators, Frances Rowland and Aileen Murphy were always there to give us a helping hand and amazing moral support.

We looked at many different topics such as: pastoral ministry in the diocese; working with others in parish ministry; prayer and spirituality; who is Jesus? Sacraments; family, justice and many other topics.

 Wonderful People

“Every night brought wonderful lecturers and I took home something new each week. I met wonderful people from all around the diocese.
I learned that prayer is about listening and having the ability to listen with the ear of one’s heart. God is love and is all around us in others and in the beauty of nature.

A Welcome Support

“I also learned that as members of a Community of Faith, we are called by name to serve others in our community.

“This can be visiting the sick, sharing the eucharist with our special needs community or being a welcome support to refugees, members of the travelling community and the gay community in our parish,” said Tara as she looks forward to a life of fulfilment and involvement in the religious and spiritual life of her community.


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