The contemporary celebration of Christmas is a mix of religious and cultural traditions and customs. While modern times have seen the feast take on commercial and secular tones, at its heart, it still remains for many the celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ. Retelling the story of the first Christmas has the innate power to inspire moments of spiritual reflection and renewal along with the practice of charity and outreach to those who are in need. It has become an important time to gather as a family and indeed to gather as a Christian community. This year, the restrictions in place because of the Coronavirus mean that we may not be in a position to gather as usual for our religious services. This situation challenges us to find new ways of reflecting on our faith and praying in our homes. It is hoped that this guide, prepared by the Dioceses of Clonfert and Elphin, will assist you in doing just that.godiswithus
Our Bishop-Elect, Paul Dempsey, comes to us as one of the youngest priests in our diocese.
Looking at our situation, as it stands today, including retired priests, the age-profile of our priests is:
- six over the age of 80
- seven aged between 70-80
- ten aged between 60-70,
- ten aged between 50-60,
- three aged between 40-50 (four when Bishop-Elect Dempsey joins us)
- and nobody under 40.
There are twenty-three parishes in the diocese and fifty churches. At present there are 25 priests in Parish Ministry.
There is no doubt but that we are heading to a point where changes will have to be addressed – indeed, we have most likely passed that point.
There must however, remain hope!
As we welcome a new bishop, might it be a time to encourage a-fresh and pray renewed, that some might hear God’s call to serve the church of Achonry as a Diocesan Priest?
Fr Paul Kivlehan is our Vocations Director. He may be contacted at the Presbytery, Ballaghaderreen or on email@example.com