Monthly Archives: October 2020

Covid-19 and Level 3

Bishop Paul issued the following statement as our Diocese, with the rest of Ireland, enters LEVEL 3 in the continuing effort to curb the spread and impact of Covid-19.

As we continue to battle with COVID 19, the Government has now advised that we move to Level 3 as a way to slow the spread of the virus.  This is not easy for any of us.  I am particularly conscious of families who were preparing for First Holy Communions and Confirmations over the coming weeks, no doubt there is huge disappointment.  As I journeyed around the Diocese in recent weeks I saw the major effort that has been made in our parishes to enable the celebration of public Masses.  Teams of people stewarding and sanitising to ensure our places of worship were safe for everyone.  This effort is so much appreciated and I thank all who were so generous in giving of their time.  Sadly, we now have to return to online Masses for the next three weeks. 

Most of us are weary with the way life is at the moment as we continue our struggle with COVID 19 and long to get back to normal life.  However, we must continue to support one another and encourage one another during these difficult days.  Over the past number of months, so many positive things have happened and the goodness of people has shone through.  We must remember that many things are not “locked down”…  Sunshine is not locked down, family time is not locked down, friendship is not locked down, prayer is not locked down, creativity is not locked down, hobbies are not locked down, goodness is not locked down, love is not locked down and hope is not locked down! 

So let’s focus on these positives and keep our hearts alive with hope as we continue this journey together.  Let’s continue to pray for each other and those who are in special need of our prayer at this time.

Every blessing and good wish,

+ Paul 

Tuesday October 6th, 2020

Fratelli Tutti

Pope’s Encyclical on Fraternity and Social Friendship

Pope Francis signed his new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, on Saturday 3 October 2020 during a visit to Assisi. The Holy Father celebrated Mass at the tomb of his namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi. “Fratelli tutti,” the encyclical’s opening words, means “All brothers” in Italian. The phrase is taken from the writings of St. Francis, one of the major inspirations for Pope Francis’ third encyclical, on fraternity and social friendship. The full text of the encyclical, the third of Pope Francis’ pontificate is released today, Sunday 4 October, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. 

Please see below the full text of the encyclical letter and some useful links and resources: 

  1. Text of Fratelli Tutti
  2. An overview of the Encyclical FRATELLI TUTTI
  3. Quick Key Guide to reading FRATELLI TUTTI
  4. Questions and Answers on FRATELLI TUTTI

Job Advertisement – Data Protection Officer

Data Protection Officer

Dioceses of the Western Province

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Job Title:     Data Protection Officer

Job Duration:     3 year Fixed Term Contract (Part-time – 20 hrs)

Job Location:   Principal Location will be agreed with the successful applicant

Role will involve working at various locations in the West, the Midlands and North-West of Ireland

Remuneration:  Negotiable

Line Manager  Bishop Kevin Doran (Elphin)

Reports Functionally to:   Each Diocesan Bishop (Ordinary)  


The purpose of this role is to assist the eight participating Dioceses and their constituent parishes and agencies in achieving compliance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These Dioceses are Tuam, Galway, Elphin, Killala, Achonry and Clonfert, Kilmore, Ardagh & Clonmacnoise). The Catholic Church recognises that good pastoral care and respect for the dignity of every person requires that personal data should be sourced, stored, processed and eventually disposed of in an appropriate manner and welcomes the essential principles underlying the GDPR


The DPO will report directly to Bishop Kevin Doran and functionally to each Diocesan Bishop, and will work closely with key Diocesan Personnel in each Diocese. 

The DPO for the Western Province will:

1.  Oversee the Development of Policy

  • Work to the existing joint Data Protection Policy, as approved by the Ordinaries of the six Dioceses of the Province
  • Ensure that constituent entities are aware of the policy
  • oversee the regular updating of the joint policy in accordance with periodic changes in legislation 
  • familiarize him- or herself with the nature of the Church’s activity in the Dioceses concerned and identify the particular challenges which are likely to arise in the implementation of the GDPR

2.Communicate the Requirements of GDPR:

  • develop a communications strategy which will ensure that key personnel are aware of the GDPR and its key principles
  • provide on-going education and support in the implementation of GDPR for bishops, clergy and lay personnel, both employed staff and volunteers
  • advise on specific challenges experienced by data controllers

3.  Implement an Internal Audit Mechanism

  • Further develop and fine-tune the existing internal audit system, which will allow the DPO to verify 
    • that personal records in hard copy and in electronic format are appropriately managed, retained and disposed of 
    • that equipment used for the storage and transfer of data is appropriately secured
    • that access to sacramental registers is appropriately managed and that they are appropriately stored
    • that appropriate information and guidance in respect of web-cams and other equipment for recording or live transmission is readily available for Church personnel and for the public
    • inspect logs of processing activities
  • The above process will integrate periodic site visits with the periodic completion of self-audit by all entities

4.  Management of GDPR Requests and Concerns

  • serve as a liaison person on behalf of the participating Dioceses with the Regulatory Authority (Data Protection Commission )
  • make such reports on behalf of Dioceses or Parishes as may be required from time to time regarding personal data breaches
  • advise Church personnel on the timely, efficient and appropriate management of requests for personal data

The above contains the main outline of duties. However it is inevitable that tasks may arise which do not fall within the remit of the above list of main duties. Employees are therefore required to respond with a flexible approach when ad hoc tasks arise which are not specifically covered in their job description. Should an additional responsibility become a regular part of an employee’s job, the Job Description will be amended to reflect this.


The Data Protection Officer will be expected to sign a confidentiality agreement. He / she will be required to observe appropriate confidentiality in respect of all data to which he / she become privy arising out of this employment. While he / she will be employed by all the participating Dioceses collectively, the commitment to confidentiality refers to the data of each Diocese individually.


Knowledge (Qualifications & Related Experience):

  • Expertise in the area of EU data protection law
  • A good understanding of the way the Catholic Church operates, with particular regard to its personal data processing activities; and
  • An ability to interpret relevant data protection rules in that context
  • A familiarity with the provisions of Canon Law in relation to the gathering, retention and disposal of data
  • A good working knowledge of current software used in data processing and storage (including Excel, Access, Parish Registration systems and Cloud-based storage systems); 

Key Behaviours:

  • Personal skills including integrity, initiative, organisation, perseverance, discretion, ability to assert himself/herself in difficult circumstances, an interest in data protection and the personal and professional motivation to be a DPO; and
  • Interpersonal skills including communication, negotiation, conflict resolution and the ability to build strong, constructive working relationships

•Knowledge of the ethos, management structures and practices of the Catholic Church

  • Strong communication skills both verbal and written;
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills – due to the out of office requirements of this role, a high level of personal organisation is expected;
  • Full clean Driving Licence and the use of a car is required.



  • Diocesan Bishops, 
  • All Church personnel, lay or ordained, who control personal data


  • Data Protection Commissioner


Interested persons are asked to click ‘Apply Now’ with the below:

  1. A detailed CV tailored to the position including telephone and email contact details;
  2. The names, addresses and contact telephone numbers of three referees;
  3. A cover letter to the assessment panel communicating in less than two hundred words why you think you are suited to this post.

Closing Date: 23rd October 2020


Organisation, Communication, InitiativeRef: AUTO-202010021236264169Apply Now