Cork bishop announces ‘radical’ changes to culture and practices of diocese

Cork bishop announces ‘radical’ changes to culture and practices of diocese

In a letter to the parishes of the Diocese, Bishop Fintan Gavin said: “We have to re-configure our parish faith communities for mission so that we can live and share the good news of Jesus Christ reaching out to those on the margins of our Church community, those who may have drifted away, our young people and those hurt by the Church.” 

BISHOP Fintan Gavin is administering “radical change” in the Diocese of Cork and Ross and has announced a range of changes to the culture and practices of the Church in the area.

In a letter to the parishes of the diocese, Bishop Gavin said: “We have to reconfigure our parish faith communities for mission so that we can live and share the good news of Jesus Christ reaching out to those on the margins of our Church community, those who may have drifted away, our young people and those hurt by the Church.”

The bishop acknowledged the hard work and dedication of many parish priests throughout the pandemic. The head of the diocese of Cork and Ross said that some changes were necessary for a renewed sense of parish, diocese and faith community, which “will seek to involve all people of faith in the growth and mission of our parishes”.

Bishop Gavin encouraged new ways of sharing the Gospel with people of all ages. He described a “new pastoral approach”, called “families of parishes”, which will be “served by a group of priests ministering together and collaborating closely with the lay people of those parishes in all aspects of parish life”.

Fr Chris O’Donovan, as episcopal vicar for mission and ministry, will co-ordinate this.

“These are early first steps by way of piloting the idea of families of parishes and I am grateful to those priests and parishes who have agreed to be part of this new pastoral approach.”

The following appointments will take effect from Saturday, September 4:

  • St Patrick’s parish priest Canon Dan Crowley will retire, while Fr Eoin Whooley will become administrator of St Patrick’s and parish priest of South Parish as part of a family of parishes in the city centre area.
  • Fr Patrick J McCarthy, administrator of Ardfield/Rathbarry, is to retire, with Monsignor Aidan O’Driscoll to become administrator of Ardfield/Rathbarry and parish priest of Clonakilty as part of a family of parishes in the Clonakilty area.
  • Muintir Bháire parish priest Fr Gerard Galvin will retire and Canon Martin O’Driscoll will be administrator of Muintir Bháire and parish priest of Bantry as part of a family of parishes in the Bantry area.
  • Canon Robert Brophy, episcopal vicar for mission and ministry, will become parish priest of Curraheen Rd.
  • Fr Alan O’Leary, Schull parish priest and administrator of Goleen Parish, has been appointed parish priest of Ballincollig.
  • Curraheen Rd parish priest Fr J Criostóir MacDonald will be parish priest at St Joseph’s Mayfield.
  • Glounthaune parish priest Fr Ted Sheehan will become the chaplain to the Defence Forces in Collins Barracks.
  • Fr Damian O’Mahony, curate in the Cathedral, Blackpool/the Glen/Ballyvolane and Sunday’s Well parishes, will become Glounthaune parish priest.
  • Fr Myles McSweeney, priest-in-charge of St Joseph’s Mayfield, is set to become parish priest of Schull Parish and administrator of Goleen Parish.
  • Fr Chris O’Donovan, who is returning from sabbatical leave having pursued studies in the University of Leuven, is set to become the episcopal vicar for mission and ministry as well as assistant priest in Turner’s Cross Parish.
  • Fr Sean Crowley, chaplain to the Defence Forces, will become curate in the Cathedral, Blackpool/the Glen/Ballyvolane and Sunday’s Well parishes.
  • Monsignor Finbarr O’Leary, curate in Timoleague Parish, will retire.
  • Fr Fergus Touhy SMA, the curate in Wilton Parish, will become curate in Clonakilty Parish.
  • Fr Sibi Arackal, curate in Clonakilty Parish, is to undertake studies in clinical pastoral education.
  • Fr Jilson Kokkandathil from the diocese of Mananthavady in India, will become curate in South Parish and St Patrick’s Parish, as well as chaplain to the Syro Malabar community in the diocese of Cork and Ross.
  • Fr Joyel John Michael IC will be chaplain to Cork University Hospital pro tem.

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