Category Archives: Diocese

Diocesan Appointments 2017

Parishes of Diocese of Achonry (Map by Brendan Cleary 2017)

 

Bishop Brendan has announced the following Diocesan Retirements and Appointments.


  • Archdeacon Patrick Kilcoyne, P.P, Kiltimagh to retire
  • Fr Thomas Mulligan, P.P., Attymass to retire
  • Fr Michael Quinn, P.P., Carracastle to become Parish Priest of Kiltimagh
  • Fr John Maloney, C.C, Kilkelly to become Administrator Parish of Attymass
  • Fr Gerard Davey, C.C., Swinford to become Administrator Parish of Carracastle

Appointments come into effect on the first weekend of September 2017.  You are asked to remember in your prayers these priests and the parishes connected with diocesan changes this year.

 

Accord @ 40

“O blessed trinity of love, for whom the human heart was made, to you be praise and timeless song and everlasting homage paid” – that’s what you do when you work for Accord” (Bishop Brendan Kelly)

On Sunday, June 11th, Bishop Brendan was Principal Celebrant at a Mass of Thanksgiving in St James’ Church, Charlestown.  Joined by priests of the diocese who, over the years, have been associated with the work of Accord within the diocese and with many of the counsellors and associates of Accord, thanks was given for the great work done over the past four decades.

Bishop Brendan spoke of the significance of the word – ACCORD – and its central role in the harmony of the home and family, whose core is marriage. He acknowledged the work done by ACCORD in preparing couples for marriage, accompanying them through it and, in some cases, offering support in the event of separation or bereavement.

Remembering members of Achonry’s Accord Team who have died over the years, there were prayers for the repose of their Souls and for God’s reward of the part they played in sustaining the Sacrament of Marriage.

“To serve marriage …. can never be anywhere but at the heart of the church”

“What is God like?” is a question we are often asked and Bishop Brendan felt that God was readily identifiable in the living of married life and, so in answer to the question, we might well be told: “Take a look and Mary and Pat, John and Margaret …” and you will see God present in the shared love and journey of married life with all its ups and downs, good days and bad, joys and sorrows.

“Love is our origin”, the bishop quoted from one of the Prefaces of Marriage, “it is our constant calling and our fulfillment in Heaven”.  Accord, in its work, supports such love and draws strength from this same love for its own journey.

The final word of course centred on “thanks” and the bishop was convinced this was not just a trite or throw away phrase.  He wanted all involved with the work of Accord, at present, in the past and into the future to know the gratitude of our diocese for the work so well done, the time so freely given and the ministry fulfilled. “We are grateful to you, we thank you and ask God to continue to bless you in your great work. Amen.”


BISHOP BRENDAN’S HOMILY

 

 

 

Vocations Sunday

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Permanent Diaconate - contact

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A living word

During the days of Holy Week, Fr Vincent Sherlock shares early morning reflections on RTE RADIO 1’s “A Living Word” (6.15am)

Here we include links to the reflections which are based on the notion of letters shared between Jesus and some of the characters of the Passion Narrative. “A Living Word” is produced by Aidan Mathews, R.T.E.

This page will be updated during Holy Week.


MONDAY APRIL 10th, 2017 – “A LIVING WORD” – Dear Judas

TUESDAY APRIL 11th, 2017 – “A LIVING WORD” – Judas’ Reply

WEDNESDAY APRIL 12th, 2017 – “A LIVING WORD” – Dear (Pontius) Pilate

THURSDAY APRIL 13th, 2017 – “A LIVING WORD” – Pilate’s Reply

FRIDAY APRIL 14th, 2017 – “A LIVING WORD” – Centurion’s Letter and Jesus’ Reply

Fr Dermot Burns Funeral Mass Homily

This is the text of the Homily preached by Fr Martin Convey, P.P, Straide at the Funeral Mass for Fr Dermot Burns in the Church of Ss Peter and Paul, Straide, Co. Mayo on Saturday April 1st 2017


Today, we gather to commend to the Lord the soul of Fr. Dermot - a brother priest who faithfully served the People of God here in the Diocese of Achonry for 42 years. To Father Dermot’s brothers, sister, in-laws, nieces and nephews, relatives and friends, we extend to you our deepest sympathies on the loss of your brother and uncle.

I don’t need to tell you, his family, or anyone who knew the man that Fr. Dermot was very much in love with life; so full of the zest of living, so brimming with joy, so full of banter, so full of fun and merriment. He exuded life and cherished it to the very last breath.

We all have our own particular fond memories of Fr. Dermot. They are usually very happy and very funny memories. Those memories abound today and they weave together a unique tapestry of a unique life.

One of my own fondest memories goes back a few years. I wasn’t too long in the parish at the time. I remember returning to the parochial house after saying the morning Mass. As I turned the key in the door I could swear I got the smell of freshly burnt toast. It didn’t take me long to discover a rather elderly man (a total stranger) sitting at the kitchen table having a leisurely breakfast. Before I could ask who he was and how he got in, the uninvited stranger managed to speak first. He demanded to know who I was, how I got in and what on earth was I doing in Fr. Dermot’s house. It quickly emerged that he was an elderly priest friend of Fr. Dermot. One of the many many friends he had made over the years. At some stage Fr. Dermot must has given him the loan of a key to the parochial house. He hadn’t known Fr. Dermot had retired and was merely availing of his hospitality (as he had done, on occasion, in the past) while waiting for him to return from the Church.

Fr. Dermot got a great laugh out of that when I told him! And that’s just one of the more sanitised events Fr. Dermot is remembered for.

The incident was funny but it really sums up Fr. Dermot’s life as a priest and as a human being.

The key to the front door, given freely and trustingly, was symbolic of the key to his soul (which he gave so generously to God in the priesthood) and the key to his life (which he gave to his family, friends and parishioners).

Fr. Dermot was, very much, an open book. What you saw is what you got. He wore his great big heart openly on his sleeve. This was a quality which endeared him to so many people whose lives he touched in his ministry as a priest.

He was great with people. In exchange for the keys to his inner spiritual self he received, in return, from others the keys to their lives. The bonds he forged, over the years, with people he encountered (as parishioners or as colleagues) were truly remarkable. Those bonds he held on to and never let break.

No matter where he might be, I would always notice people going out of their way to approach him and talk to him. He was a kind of a magnet for people. Even after the passage of time (often decades), he kept up ties and friendships. He was the only individual I knew whose Christmas Card list actually increased every year.

And it wasn’t just his friends from Straide parish who kept in contact with him. It was, also, his friends in all the other parishes he had served in - Bonniconlon, Achonry, Ballymote and Kilkelly. They all remembered him for the same reasons. They remembered his compassion, his kindness, his generosity, his sincerity, his wit and his humour.

He was a very people-centred person who generously gave the open door of his life to so many others: celebrating their successes, lamenting their failures, consoling their distress, and (when necessary) helping carry their crosses. In this, and in so many other regards, he was a priest to be admired and respected. He had learned his theology in Maynooth but had spent his days, ever since, living that theology.

He was also a man who, to his great credit, never hesitated to delegate responsibility within the parish. He realised something we priests all eventually learn - namely, that there are always people within every community who can do many things we do far better than we, ourselves, can.

It stands to reason, then, that we should build strong teams and allow the gifts and charisms of a community to flourish. This is exactly what Fr. Dermot did. In this respect, he left a great legacy behind. One has only to observe the pristine condition of this Church and grounds to see how much he achieved.

Family meant everything to Fr. Dermot: his twin brother Pat, his brother Frank, his sister Joan, his nephews and nieces and in-laws. Not to forget his beloved parents (Una & Paddy) and brother John who have already gone to their eternal reward. No family could have supported a brother any better than you have done.

As one might expect, Fr. Dermot was particularly close to his twin brother Pat who was especially good to him and looked after him above and beyond the call of even brotherly love and duty. 

This parish of Straide was, also, very very special to Fr. Dermot. It was here he spent the last 23 years of his life. He often confided how happy he was here - how kind and how good parishioners were to him.

Fr. Dermot worked in parish ministry for all of his 42 years of priesthood. His priesthood was founded on a deep unshakable faith and on a spiritual life that brought him ever closer to God. His priestly ministry was truly a beacon of hope for so many people. He exercised his ministry brightening so many lives, binding so many hearts, smoothing so many paths, calming so many souls, warming so many lives. And it is great to see so many of his former parishioners here today at his funeral Mass. Fr. Dermot just had that wonderful gift of connecting with the people he came in contact with.

When, unfortunately, in 2011 he had to retire due to ill health there was never a question of him living anywhere else except in Straide. He chose to spend his (all too short) final years with the people he knew and loved. That is certainly a great compliment to his former parishioners who are owed a great debt of gratitude for the manner in which they looked after and cared for Fr. Dermot.

Another thread in the tapestry of Memory I have of Fr. Dermot is chatting to him about how difficult it can be to find something new to preach on every weekend. He consoled me by saying that “It’s difficult to be profound every Sunday”. Then thought for a while and added “But it would, indeed, be nice to be profound the odd Sunday though!”

I’m sure there were days when he, too, stood at this lectern and looked to the heavens for divine inspiration. I’m sure from this spot he, also, must have focused his eyes on a particular design on the windows of the gallery – a design which catches my eye frequently.

There are, as you would expect, images of crosses on those stained glass windows. However, there is also a subtle detail that can easily be missed. If you look carefully you can see that there are little green shoots of growth emerging from the foot of each cross.

The Cross was something Fr. Dermot became all too familiar with in his later years following a life-threatening diagnosis just before Christmas 2010. But the cross he was given to carry never dampened his spirit or took from his wit and good humour. Even when given very bad news a few short weeks back, he never lost hope and he never gave up but, rather, fought bravely on.

I think he got great consolation from the green shoots of growth that are always there at the foot of even the heaviest of crosses we are sometimes given to bear. Fr. Dermot’s deep Christian faith led him to believe those green shoots would, ultimately, bring him New Life. Today, we pray that he has, already received, that reward.

After this, his funeral Mass, Fr. Dermot will be laid to rest in the Church grounds - facing East to greet the rising sun each morning. He will be under the shade of two oak trees planted last year by Bishop Brendan in honour of Ss. Peter and Paul to mark the centenary of this Church dedicated to the two giants of our faith. Those oak trees are young now. But, I’m told, they will spend the next 300 years growing and, then, another 300 years stagnant before they will spend a final 300 in decline.

Knowing Fr. Dermot as I do, I don’t think he will wait that long to visit St. Peter. No doubt, he has already entered the gates of heaven and is, by now, making his presence felt and catching up with old friends.

Hopefully, at some stage, he might get a hold of St. Peter’s Keys and have a few copies made for us, too, on the quiet so that when our time comes may let ourselves in to one of the many rooms that today’s Gospel assures us are already prepared for us.

In the meantime, until we meet our friend and brother again, may his gentle soul now Rest in Peace. Amen

Fr Dermot Burns, R.I.P.

Fr Dermot Burns, R.I.P.

The Diocese of Achonry is saddened to announce the death of one of its priests, Fr Dermot Burns, R.I.P.

Fr Dermot served as a priest of the Diocese since his ordination in 1974 and ministered in a number of parishes of the Diocese; Bonniconlon, Ballymote, Kilmovee (Kilkelly) and Straide. in 2011, he retired as Parish Priest of Straide due to ill-health but continued to live in the Parish Community until his death on March 29th.

We extend our sympathies to his family and wide circle of friends.

Please remember Fr Dermot in your prayers.​

FUNERAL MASS

Celebrated in Church of Ss Peter and Paul, Straide, Co. Mayo

Saturday April 1st, 2.00pm

Bishop Brendan Kelly Presided

Fr Martin Convey, P.P. Straide preached the homily

Click here for text of homily​

Burial in Church Grounds.

Lough Derg 2017

"Come away by yourselves for a while to pray ....."

Lough Derg - The Holy Island

DIOCESE OF ACHONRY

PILGRIMAGE TO LOUGH DERG 2017

Bishop Brendan invites you to join him and people from the Diocese of Achonry for the Three Day Pilgrimage to Lough Derg 17th -19th July

 

Bishop Brendan reflects on a previous pilgrimage to Lough Derg

Bishop’s Homilies

Ordination Homily
Bishop Brendan returned to his native diocese of Galway on Sunday July 16th to ordain the diocese's newest priest, Fr[...]
Accord @ 40
On Sunday, June 11th, Bishop Brendan was Principal Celebrant at a Mass of Thanksgiving in St James' Church, Charlestown.  Joined[...]
Eucharistic Adoration Committee Homily
Text of homily preached at Mass in St James' Church, Charlestown to launch recently trained Diocesan Team to oversee and develop[...]
World Meeting of Families
Bishop Brendan reflects on the upcoming gathering for families and on the call to support the preparation for this important[...]
Ad Limina Reflection
Bishop Brendan reflects, in this short video clip, on the recent Ad Limina Visit to Rome and the Bishops' meeting[...]
Day for Religious
Earlier today, (February 5th) we gathered with the Religious of the Diocese to celebrate the Feast of The Presentation in[...]
Baptism of The Lord
Homily given in Cathedral of The Annunciation and St Nathy, Ballaghderreen, by Bishop Brendan Kelly on the Feast of The[...]
Christmas Prayer
A Christmas Reflection ‘Do you have a prayer for me this Christmas?’ the question came on the phone. A prayer[...]
Sisters of St Louis Kiltimagh
On Sunday, October 9th 2016, Bishop Brendan was Principal Celebrant at Mass in Kiltimagh.  The Mass was one of thanksgiving[...]
Day for Life 2016
Bishop Brendan's Homily Cathedral of Annunciation and St Nathy, Ballaghaderreen Day for Life 2016 ‘Lord, increase our faith!’ the apostles[...]
Brendan McCarrick S.A.C.
Fr Brendan McCarrick, S.A.C. was ordained to the priesthood on Sunday July 24th.  The Ordination was celebrated in Brendan's home[...]
Centenary of Straide Parish Church
The centenary of the opening of the Church of Ss Peter and Paul, Straide, is being celebrated this year. On[...]

hoping in the sand

TROCAIRE LENTEN CAMPAIGN 2017

Miriam Marivel Campos Perez, a thirty-year-old mother, and her six-year-old daughter Maria live in Cuyamel, not far from the city of San Pedro Sula in the north of Honduras. Their village is built around a life of fishing and farming. The small village is often victim to flooding. 

Cuyamel used to be one hundred meters away from the sea; however, as a result of a massive earthquake in 2009, the    seabed has sunken by 60 cm, and this, combined with rising sea levels caused by climate change, means the  village is now prone to devastating flooding. ‘I have maybe a few months left in my home,’ says Miriam. ‘We are hardly living there these days because every time there is bad weather we have to evacuate.’ When the floods come the alert is sounded and the villagers have little time to get ready as the water comes very fast. 

In school, six-year-old Maria learns the traffic light system. Green means everything is ok. Orange means the weather is starting to turn and they must start to get ready for the floods. Red means they must run fast as the water is coming. Mother and daughter grab hold of each other and run. 

Maria says that she shouts ‘let’s go, let’s go’ to her mother because she is so afraid. They must run fast as the water brings with it timber and other debris; if you are hit you could get badly hurt. On returning home, flooding is another trauma. ‘It’s really sad when I come back and see how my house looks. I want to run away and never return. The sea brings sand and is full of garbage that gets washed here.’ The family spends days cleaning their home, which is now damp and mouldy. Miriam says that her daughter has nowhere to play as the land is filled with debris and rubbish. It also gets covered in salt, so people can’t grow food.

Trócaire, through local partners, is supporting Miriam, Maria, and their community by supporting the emergency response teams. We are creating safe routes for people to move quickly away when the flood is coming. Together we are providing food, shelter and training for local people.

                                                 (Courtesy of Trocaire's Lenten Campaign Material 2017)

 


With Maria in Cuyamel, Honduras (November 2016)


 INTERVIEW ON FAITH ALIVE (With Monica Morley) SUNDAY FEBRUARY 26th

  1. FAITH ALIVE Sunday 26 February 2017


Last November I had the chance to visit Honduras with Trocaire to see some of the work that is done in that country. As part of our visit, we met with Miriam and her family, including Maria (with me in photo) and it made it very real for me.  Truth told though, I could walk away from the reality - that’s not an option for Miriam, Maria and those   living in this village.  Neither is it an option for Trocaire, whose workers are so committed to supporting this community and many other needs that present themselves, not just in Honduras but throughout the world.  Trocaire literally means “Mercy” and it was clear to me that mercy is at the heart of all work done in our name by the staff and associates of Trocaire.

Sharing a journey and sharing vision - Trocaire supports this Youth Group

We visited many of Trocaire's work sites and met with a wide variety of people over our days in Honduras. Groups varied from a Youth Club where boys and girls learn to be respectful and appreciative of one another.  Violence against women is a major problem in Honduras and, in this initiative Trocaire (and its partner agency) offers a way to help boys and girls grow in awareness of each other, learn from one another and journey together, as equals.  It was clear to us all that the work is having a positive effect.  The young people and their leaders spoke movingly about how much this club means to them.  We met a group of women who are farming as a co-operative and, once again, Trocaire's presence and support were clearly evident and acknowledged.  There was a Community Group that is trying to claim back rights to a local river - rights that have been taken over by a large company.  One of Trocaire's partner agencies, with Trocaire's support, is offering assistance and guidance to this group.

"On the one road" because there's only one road.

The village where Miriam and Maria live is accessible only by one road.  We travelled this road for many hours and the conditions were treacherous.  The village (as mentioned above) is by the edge of the ocean. In another setting, the location could be classed as idyllic but not here because the homes are too close to the ocean and the buildings are of a very poor standard.  When the ocean rises and winds become storms, these homes and their occupants stand no chance.  Here Trocaire is involved in the development of a man made canal that will allow people escape via the river since the one road, we had travelled, quickly becomes impassable.

Flowers of hope on the edge of the ocean

Holiday album material as you look to the sea

A family's home - a stone's throw from the shoreline

There is a photo that remains with me, it's of Maria playing "X+0's" with Alexis (one of Trocaire's Team in Honduras).  As I watched, I could see that Alexis was doing all he could to let her win.  I couldn't help but wish that she would - not just the game in the sand, that would be washed away in the next visit of the tides, but in life and for life.

Apart from memories of people and places we visited, I think my abiding memory is the dedication of Trocaire to the people in its care.  I had a real sense of very good people wanting to make a difference in very difficult and challenging situations.  It struck me that the Trocaire Staff we met were well grounded people, focused and committed.  I could not help but think they could have chosen easier paths in life, 9-5 jobs (not that they don't have their challenges too) where coming home in the evening meant switching off and relaxing.  My real sense of Trocaire is that "switching off" isn't an option but that readiness to be with people is the driving force.


For some more photos and an overview of the visit with Trocaire to Honduras, please click here

For some more photos and a few thoughts around Trocaire's work in Honduras please click here 


My name is Vincent Sherlock, a priest of the Diocese of Achonry and Diocesan Communications Officer.  I had the opportunity to visit Hounduras last November and am pleased to be able to share here and through the links given some of the stories and people we met along the way.  I hope that this year's Lenten Campaign in the diocese will assist Trocaire's work and with Fr Gerry Davey (Trocaire Rep for our Diocese) encourage your support in whatever form it may take.

Trocaire's website is www.trocaire.org 

God Bless the work.  God bless the world.


Trocaire Visitation Group with Bishop Michael Lenihan, Bishop of La Ceiba, Honduras

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