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.