Category Archives: Diocese

Maynooth Appointment Announced

Dr Tomaás Surlis

The Trustees of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth have appointed Reverend Dr Tomás Surlis as Pro-Rector of the Seminary at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, for a period of five years, effective from 1 August 2018.  In welcoming the appointment Archbishop Eamon Martin, Chairman of the Trustees, said:

“I warmly congratulate and send my prayerful good wishes to Father Tomás Surlis on his appointment to the role of Pro-Rector of the Seminary at Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth. Father Surlis brings rich experience to this new responsibility and is well equipped to lead the formation community at the College.

“Last year, on the appointment of Father Michael Mullaney as President of the College, the Trustees indicated that a revision of the governance structures of the College, with particular reference to the Seminary and the Pontifical University as two interrelated but distinct entities, would be undertaken, and that a Pro-Rector with dedicated responsibility for seminary formation at Maynooth would be appointed. The ongoing implementation of the vision for priestly formation set out in the new universal norms The Gift of the Priestly Vocation published by the Congregation for the Clergy in December 2016, has given an impetus to greater reflection on formation. The appointment of a dedicated Pro-Rector for the Seminary is one of the fruits of that ongoing reflection and it underlines the commitment of the Bishops’ Conference to the task of the formation of priests in contemporary society.

“As was also noted last year, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, is not only home to our national seminary, but its Pontifical University offers courses to many students, lay and seminarian, from Ireland and from further afield.  The Trustees are firmly committed to the College as a key contributor to the future of the Church in Ireland as it prepares both clergy and lay people to fully exercise their baptismal calling and bring their gifts to the service of God’s people.”

Archbishop Martin added, “I want to thank sincerely Father Mullaney for his dedication and commitment to the staff and community of Saint Patrick’s College, and I look forward to working with him in ensuring that the college continues to serve the needs of the Church at this time.”


Father Tomás Surlis was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Achonry in 2003.  A catechist by training, he taught Religion and English for four years in Coláiste Iognáid, Galway, before studying for the priesthood at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.  His first appointment as a priest was to the staff of Saint Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen as Chaplain and Teacher of religious education.  In 2005, he was appointed as curate to the parish of Ballymote, Co Sligo.  From 2006 to 2010 completed a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology in the Pontifical Gregorian University Rome.  In 2010, he was appointed to the parish of Gurteen, Co Sligo and Diocesan Advisor for Post-Primary Religious Education for the dioceses of Achonry and Killala.  He was also appointed as Director of Formation for the Permanent Diaconate in the diocese of Achonry.  In 2011, he was appointed as President and Principal Teacher of Saint Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen, where he served until March 2017 before taking up appointment as Director of Formation and Lecturer in Theology and Education in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, in August 2017.

Bishop Christy Jones, R.I.P.

Bishop Christy Jones 1936-2018

With sadness, the diocese of Achonry has learned of the death of Bishop Christy Jones, retired Bishop of Elphin.

His death leaves a significant gap in the life of the Western Dioceses.  As a former bishop of our neighbouring diocese, his friendship was deeply valued and sustaining.  His untiring witness to outreach to the poor and marginalised was truly a blessing to many and an example to all.

Our sympathy and prayers are with his sister, nephews and nieces, his extended family and with the bishop, priests, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Elphin.

His place in our memory is assured and we pray that he may eternally enjoy the fullness of The Kingdom of God, to which he was ever faithful and to which he continually called those in his care.

May he rest in peace.

 

Fr Dermot Meehan, Diocesan Administrator, Diocese of Achonry.

Cathedral Reopens

Following some months of intense and skillful works, the Cathedral of The Annunciation and St Nathy has re-opened.  Much of the works carried out lie beneath the surface and tended to electrical, plumbing and essential repairs.  There were some changes made too that are obvious and a clear improvement. Well done to all involved and all who have supported this project over recent years.

 

 

VOCATIONS 2018

VOCATIONS SUNDAY 2018

The World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2018 falls on Sunday April 22, Good Shepherd Sunday. In the Gospel (Mt 9:38 and Lk 10:2) Jesus instructs his disciples to “Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send labourers into his harvest”.

Whilst the church recognises that everyone receives a vocation from God, be it to married life, single life, or some form of ministry, the church focuses on this day, to pray for vocations to ordained ministry (Priesthood and Diaconate) and to religious life in all its forms.

  • Will you make a special effort to ask the Lord for more vocations?
    Pray for more young men and women in our diocese to respond to God’s call.
    Pray for the priests and religious who have ministered to you throughout your life, both living and dead.
    Keep your priests and religious in your prayers throughout the week.
    Encourage your children, grandchildren, or other young people to consider a vocation?

This year, will be the 55th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

Numerous surveys show that a very high percentage of men and women who have entered the priesthood or religious life have been involved in some aspect of ministry in their parish and have received encouragement from either a priest or a member of their parish community.

Is there someone your know whom would make a good priest, deacon or religious? Could you consider encouraging them to take the time to reflect on this possibility? Are vocations prayed for on a regular basis? If not, could you encourage your parish for opportunities to pray for vocations?

FOR INFORMATION ON VOCATIONS

Our diocesan Vocations Director is:

Fr Paul Kivlehan
The Presbytery
Ballaghaderreen
Co. Roscommon
Tel. 094-986 0011

or submit your query by using this contact form.  If your interest is not in the diocesan priesthood but possibly in the Permanent Diaconate or Religious Life, Fr Paul will direct your query to the relevant person.  Thank you.


 

Choose Life

"Choose Life 2018" is an initiative of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. It promotes the Catholic Church’s teaching on the dignity and value of every human life. We offer dioceses, parishes and members of the faithful pro-life material and resources to encourage discussion in families on the value of every human life. We encourage you to use and share our content to promote a culture of life and a civilisation of love. Choose Life!

SOME RESOURCES

Choose Life 2018 on Twitter

Permanent Diaconate Ordinations

Ordinations to the Permanent Diaconate took place for the first time in the Diocese of Achonry on Easter Monday, April 2nd, 2018.  Bishop Brendan Kelly returned to the diocese to ordain two men to the Permanent Diaconate. Fr Dermot Meehan, Diocesan Administrator and Director of the Permanent Diaconate programme in the diocese was the homilist.

A packed congregation in the Church of St James’, Charlestown, Co. Mayo watched and prayed as Martin Lynch (Parish of Kiltimagh) and Kevin Flynn (Parish of Collooney) became the first Permanent Deacons in our diocese.  Both men are married and their families were in attendance along with many friends and well wishers.

After the homily, both candidates are called forward by a deacon – answering “present” to the calling of their name is symbolic of their response to God’s Call to ministry.  Having presented themselves for ordination they are, in turn, presented to the bishop as candidates for ordination.

Having been called to Ministry and accepted for ordination, both candidates committed themselves to the ministry of Deacon and responded to the questions put before them by Bishop Brendan Kelly.

Both will assume ministry in the diocese and we pray God’s continued blessing on them and their families.

Ad multos annos.

Pope Francis and Lent

Pope Francis Answers “What Should I Give Up For Lent?”

“Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive.”  (Lent 2017)

“For all of us, then, the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year is a favourable time to overcome our existential alienation by listening to God’s word and by practising the works of mercy. In the corporal works of mercy we touch the flesh of Christ in our brothers and sisters who need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, visited; in the spiritual works of mercy – counsel, instruction, forgiveness, admonishment and prayer – we touch more directly our own sinfulness. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy must never be separated. By touching the flesh of the crucified Jesus in the suffering, sinners can receive the gift of realizing that they too are poor and in need. By taking this path, the “proud”, the “powerful” and the “wealthy” spoken of in the Magnificat can also be embraced and undeservedly loved by the crucified Lord who died and rose for them. This love alone is the answer to that yearning for infinite happiness and love that we think we can satisfy with the idols of knowledge, power and riches. Yet the danger always remains that by a constant refusal to open the doors of their hearts to Christ who knocks on them in the poor, the proud, rich and powerful will end up condemning themselves and plunging into the eternal abyss of solitude which is Hell. The pointed words of Abraham apply to them and to all of us: “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them” (Lk 16:29). Such attentive listening will best prepare us to celebrate the final victory over sin and death of the Bridegroom, now risen, who desires to purify his Betrothed in expectation of his coming.” (Lent 2016)

“As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.” (Lent 2015)

“Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.”  (Lent 2014)

“Today gratuitousness is often not part of daily life where everything is bought and sold. Everything is calculated and measured. Almsgiving helps us to experience giving freely, which leads to freedom from the obsession of possessing, from the fear of losing what we have, from the sadness of one who does not wish to share his wealth with others.” (Lent 2014)

“Dear friends, Lent is the favourable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbour. The Lord, who overcame the deceptions of the Tempter during the forty days in the desert, shows us the path we must take. May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need. I encourage all the faithful to express this spiritual renewal also by sharing in the Lenten Campaigns promoted by many Church organizations in different parts of the world, and thus to favour the culture of encounter in our one human family. Let us pray for one another so that, by sharing in the victory of Christ, we may open our doors to the weak and poor. Then we will be able to experience and share to the full the joy of Easter.”

Evening Prayer with Religious

On Sunday, February 4th, Bishop Brendan gathered with the Religious of the Diocese and a number of our diocesan priests and laity to pray with and for all who have given their lives in service of the Religious Life.  This was Bishop Brendan’s last official engagement in the diocese before he takes up his new role as Bishop of Galway on Sunday next.

He spoke of the absolute need for faith and trust in the future; “We can’t go back”, he said “like Jesus in this weekend’s Gospel, we need to go elsewhere …. in prayer, Jesus received and found what he needed to carry on”.  He reflected on his own move to Galway and that the future is totally in God’s hands – as is all of the future.  “Religious life is always about encountering people, encountering where they are.”  “Churches”, he said “were built so that people could gather together and be alone in the encountering of Jesus.”

His encouragement to all gathered was to keep engaging with people – meeting and being with them for that is the core of the Religious calling.

He used the occasion to thank all the Religious of the diocese for the wonderful support they had been to him over the past ten years.  He asked them to continue to keep him in prayer as he will keep them.

Fr Steve Gibson, CSC, spoke on behalf of all the Religious gathered and wished Bishop Brendan every success in his new role and concluded with a prayer of blessing.

Catholic Schools Week 2018

WELCOME

To celebrate Catholic Schools Week 2018, Bishop Brendan Kelly will be Principal Celebrant at Mass in St James’ Church, Charlestown on Wednesday January 31st at 7pm.  This Mass will be a Diocesan Gathering to celebrate the life lived in the schools of our Diocese. Prayers will be offered and blessings sought for all pupils, teachers, families and staff.

Please know that you are welcome to come along, join us in prayer, and to support the work done in classrooms and behind the scenes in all our schools.


The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2018 is:

“Catholic Schools: Families of Faith”.


For information on Catholic Schools Week 2018, please click HERE


Some images from Mass in Charlestown on Wednesday, January 31st.

Sr Mary Richardson and Mrs Marian Maloney (Diocesan Advisors to Primary Schools) were very instrumental in arranging this evening’s Liturgy.  At the end of the Mass, Sr Mary spoke words of thanks to Bishop Brendan on behalf of those gathered.  She thanked him for his commitment and dedicated service to the school communities of the diocese during his ten years as Bishop of Achonry.  She wished him continued blessings as he prepares to move to Galway, where he will become Bishop of Galway on February 11th.

She concluded her words with a brief quotation from the late poet and writer, John O’Donohue

Bishop Brendan, in response, made the following comments before offering his prayers and blessings to all gathered.

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