Tag Archives: diocese

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.





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?


Our diocesan Vocations Director is:

Fr Paul Kivlehan
The Presbytery
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.



There was Evening Prayer in The Church of The Holy Family, Kiltimagh on Monday December 4th.  This was to gather people around the Icon for World Meeting of Families 2018 which currently is in our diocese.  Kiltimagh, chosen because of its Church’s name, is the first of three locations in the diocese that will host the Icon and invite people to gather in prayer.  The other centres are The Father Peyton Centre (Parish of Attymass) and Ballymote.


Fr Michael Quinn, Parish Priest of Kiltimagh led the Liturgy and welcome all who had gathered to spend some time in prayer in the presence of the Icon.  Fr Gerry Davey, of the WMOF 2018 Diocesan Committee spoke of the “writing” of the Icon and shared some reflections around its meaning.

There was a representative gathering from the six parishes of St Joseph’s Cluster (Bohola, Carracastle, Charlestown, Kilmovee, Kiltimagh and Swinford) and prayers of intercession were offered by parishioners from these parishes.  Three priests read three Gospel passages, drawn from the story told in the Icon; The finding of the child Jesus in the temple, the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the wedding feast of Cana.

Fr Stephen O’Mahony shared a reflection for the evening that might be worth taking a look at.  The words are very meaningful and have certainly the potential to lead us along a path of choosing what is best for others and ourselves.


Spirit of the living God,

Help me to be positive in everything I do
In everything I say

In everything I think and feel and imagine.

Where there is beauty, let me sing
Where there is goodness, let me praise
Where there is wisdom, let me listen
Where there is courage, let me affirm
Where there is wonder, let me be in awe.

Where there is loneliness, may I be present
Where there is suffering, may I weep
Where there is wrong, may I speak out
Where there is possibility, may I respond.

All praise to you, 0 God of infinite beauty and goodness
All praise to you, 0 God of infinite wisdom and wonder
All praise to you, 0 God.

Your boundless compassion for us in Christ Jesus

Has made this life such a positive, hope-filled experience.
May we live each day

with your spirit of grace and generosity.

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 of Killaloe

Bishop-Elect Fintan Monahan

Bishop-Elect Fintan Monahan


Congratulations to Fr Fintan Monahan, Archdiocese of Tuam, who today has been appointed Bishop of Killaloe. We wish Bishop-Elect Monahan every good wish and blessing as he undertakes this new ministry.  He has worked closely with our diocese through the years, in his former role of Diocesan Secretary.  May God bless him, his family and friends and may he bring to the Diocese of Killaloe his many talents and gifts.

Ad multos annos.


Go mbeannaí Dia dhíbh ar fad agus fáilte romhaibh inniu.

It is with great humility and a deep sense of unworthiness that I come here to join you today.  When I was contacted by the Papal Nuncio some days ago I was completely surprised and shocked at my being called to serve in the role as Bishop of Killaloe!  Having worked in a diocesan office for almost eleven years – I know only too well the magnitude of the responsibilities and challenges that arrive on the desk of a bishop in Ireland today!  However, aware of the presence and providence of the Lord, the good will and cooperation of so many people so willing to help, I joyfully and earnestly set about the work I am called to do here in Killaloe.

Being totally new to this role and the Diocese of Killaloe, I look forward to learning all about the place and collaborating closely with priests, religious and people of the many parishes in the wide territory covered by the diocese.

My name is Fintan Monahan.  I’m 49 years old.  I was born in Tullamore, Co Offaly.  My family moved from Offaly to Carraroe, Co Galway, in December 1979.  Since 1996 our family home base has been Castlegar, Galway.

I was ordained to the priesthood in Carraroe in 1991.  Tar éis staidéar a dhéanamh i Má Nuad chaith mé bliain amháin ag obair mar shéiplíneach ar An Tulach, Baile na hAbhann, i nGaeltacht Chonamara.  For the past 23 years I have ministered in Tuam, Co Galway, 13 years teaching in Saint Jarlath’s College and the past 10 years as diocesan secretary for that Archdiocese along with being chaplain in Saint Jarlath’s.

I am delighted to be with you – people and priests of this diocese.  I have always felt a great sense of warmth, kindness and welcome in relation to people from the area of the south and mid-west in which Killaloe is located.

I look forward to working with you to continue the great spirit of collaboration, priests and people working closely together, a long established tradition that has been clearly so evident here in Killaloe and you are so well known for.  It is a privilege to be able to continue the great work in the area of evangelisation, faith development, clustering, pastoral planning, vocations promotion, care of priests, youth ministry, safeguarding children, liturgy, prayer and spirituality.  Providing support and pastoral assistance for families will be a big part of our work in the Church in Ireland as we prepare diligently for The World Meeting of Families which is being hosted in Ireland in 2018.

Today is the feast of Saint Martha who is a model of service, hospitality and warmth and the Gospel of the day sees Jesus encouraging her to develop the contemplative side of her spirit along with her hospitable nature.  On this feast day, I pray for an abundance of both of these great qualities and gifts in my dealings with all to whom I minster in this diocese and everywhere, following the example of The Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank a number of people for their kindness and assistance at this point:

To the Administrator of the diocese, Father Des Hillery who has been looking after the diocese since January of 2015.  It cannot have been easy for him combining that with all the duties he has as parish priest of a busy parish like Nenagh.  Thank you also to Father Des for his warm welcome, courtesy and advice since we first spoke on Monday last.

To my own classmate Father Ger Nash, the current diocesan secretary, always a rock of sense, wisdom and friendship.

I would like to pay tribute and gratefully acknowledge the presence of Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly the most recent bishop of this diocese, for all the great work he did in such a short space of time from 2010-2014.

Welcome and thank you also to Bishop Willie Walsh who was bishop here from 1994-2010 for his great work and contribution in so many fields.  I had an opportunity to leaf through his recent biography No Crusader during the week and it gave me a great flavour and sense of the diocese.

Thank you to His Excellency Archbishop Charles J Brown for his guidance and advice over the past couple of weeks.  He has been a great source of encouragement and guidance.

My own bishop, Archbishop Michael Neary, has been an outstanding support and wonderful example and role model to me since the very first day I started in Maynooth to this present day.  I know with the experience that I have gained and trust he has placed in me in my role as diocesan secretary that my vocation in the shepherding of the diocese here in Ennis will be made much easier.

I have a huge interest in sport and many aspects of outdoor life.  One of the things I most like to do is to spend time in the hills and the mountains.  It will be quite a change to swap the Maam Turks, the Twelve Bens and Croagh Patrick for the hills and walkways of the Burren and surrounding countryside.  It is a transition that I look forward to making with keen interest and in the spirit of adventure.

Today is Garland Friday, the start of Reek Weekend where people make the annual trek to climb Croagh Patrick.  I know in taking on this role and task and privilege of being Bishop of Killaloe that I am climbing a huge mountain.  In the spirit of making a pilgrimage to the above mentioned Holy Mountain, I make this journey in faith, hope and love and know that I can rely on the guarantee of your prayers, support, cooperation and friendship.

There is a job to be done.  The sleeves are rolled up.  I’m happy to join the meitheal of work that is on-going in this prayerful community of faith that is Killaloe diocese.  May the Lord be with us all as we continue our work for the Lord.

In the words of the ancient Irish 17th Century Prayer often said when embarking on a journey:

In ainm an Athar le bua,

In ainm an Mhic a d’fhulaing an phian,

In ainm an Spiorad Naoimh le neart,

Muire is a Mac linn inár dtriall. Áiméan!

New Vocations Director Appointed


vocationspkivlehanJUNE 2016

Bishop Brendan has announced the appointment of Fr Paul Kivlehan as Vocations Director for the diocese of Achonry.  He succeeds Fr Gabriel Murphy in this role.

Bishop Brendan and all in the diocese express gratitude to both men for their commitment to this vital ministry.  We ask that you will remember Fr Paul in his work and support him through your prayers for vocations.

Fr Paul, ordained in 2013, is the most recently ordained priest serving in our diocese. His own “Vocation Story” is shared on our Vocations Page


Contact Fr Paul if you would like to receive further information about Diocesan Priesthood in the Diocese of Achonry. Please use the following “Contact” Form.

But if you say so … (Homily for Close of Year of Consecrated Life)


Bishop Brendan speaking at Evening Prayer to celebrate close of Year of Consecrated Life

“Master”, Simon replied, “we worked hard all night long and caught nothing. But if you say so, I will pay out the nets”.

This is a very powerful Gospel story. Every word and phrase is worth reflecting on.

What strikes me most today is the moment Jesus asked Peter to “put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch”. Peter had spent the whole night fishing to no avail, not a sprat. He is no doubt exhausted, weary, disheartened. It is at this very moment when futility is staring him in the face and he must have been close to rock bottom that Jesus invites him to “put out into the deep water…”

And look what happens. “They netted such a large number of fish that their nets began to tear,” and they cry out to their companions and the two boats are filled to sinking point with fish.

Abundance beyond imagining. The same thing as happened at Cana, at the beginning of the Gospel of St. John.

Obedience is everything, it seems. Obedience in the original and true sense of the word: willingness at all times to listen to Jesus’ word, his invitation, his call. Jesus’ word is always one of encouragement, of trust in us and of challenge. And invariably when we take it deep into our hearts and act upon it, it bears fruit in abundance, filling us with hope.

There are so many other attractive and alluring voices all around in the times we live in. Today is Temperance Sunday, a day that reminds us that we have to be discerning, careful, and moderate in what we receive and consume and take into ourselves. Prophets of Doom abound today, for example. We can easily find ourselves among them.

When the times seem lean and unpromising, as they do for vocations today, to priesthood and religious life, the Gospel we have just heard, holds out a great promise. Like Peter on the lakeshore, worn out by the seeming futility of his labours, to take Jesus’ word to heart is critical. He will not deceive nor let us down. Abundance, it seems, will always follow our putting our trust completely in him. This especially we must do when things are at their bleakest.

Mary knew this at Cana. Quietly, peacefully, but with supreme confidence and faith, she spoke to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you”. That is exactly what you and I committed ourselves to long ago in our youth. He is incapable of letting us down or deceiving us, no matter what the appearances.

So, what better way to conclude this Year for Consecrated Life than by renewing our commitment to him, and our determination to listen to him in his word every day and indeed every moment of our lives. If we must talk of work and mission, this is always our first work and our primary mission.

Together then let us renew our vows and our commitment to Jesus Christ and to his Body, the Church:

With gratitude for all that has been, and led by the Spirit, I come today

  • To renew my commitment to live my vow of chastity with love and compassion
  • To renew my vow of poverty aware of the abundance of God that calls us to generous sharing
  • To renew my vow of obedience, to be available for God’s mission and purpose in our world

For this and all your gifts, Father of Mercy, I give thanks,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Celebrating Consecrated Life


Evening Prayer Ballaghaderreen, February 7th celebrating the conclusion of Year of Consecrated Life

Evening Prayer, celebrating Consecrated Life, was offered this Sunday Evening in Ballaghaderreen. Bishop Brendan, Religious of the Diocese and a number of our diocesan priests were present. Speaking on the gospel of the call by Jesus to “launch out into the deep”, Bishop Brendan encouraged all to have joy in God’s call. This evening’s gathering marked the closing of the Year of Consecrated LIfe