Two more parishes in Kerry will be without a resident priest.
The Bishop of Kerry has revealed details of diocesan changes saying he realises that the loss of a resident priest will cause upset and be unsettling for both priests and people.
Bishop Ray Browne says he has tried to keep the number of new appointments to a minimum this year, mindful that there was a large number last year.
The total number of parishes in the Kerry Diocese without a resident priest is now five.
Bishop Ray Browne says overall it is clear that more and more responsibility for life in the parish is in the hands of the laity.
Just one priest in the diocese is under forty.
In the past nine months five retired priests in the diocese have died.
Last year, three priests retired, this year Fr. Bill Radley PP Glenflesk will retire and three priests are coping with long-term serious ill-health.
Within the next year Sean Jones will be ordained as a priest for the diocese; ten years since the last priestly ordination. His Pastoral Placement will be in Listowel.
Four other students are preparing for the priesthood.
Monsignor Sean Hanafin PP St. John’s Tralee is on Sabbatical until July 2017
Fr. Liam Comer PP Dromtarriffe to be PP Ardfert
Fr.Tadhg Fitzgerald PP Ardfert to be PP St John’s Tralee
Fr. George Hayes, the Vice-Rector of the Irish College Rome to be PP Glenflesk
Fr. Tom Leane PP Ballyheigue is to be PP Dromtarriffe. The parish of Ballyheigue will be served by the priests of the Naomh Bhréanainn Pastoral Area, with Fr. Liam Comer as Moderator.
Fr. Pat Moore is to retire as PP of Duagh due to health reasons, the parish will be served by the priests of the Listowel Pastoral Area with Fr Declan O’ Connor as Moderator.
Priests of all Pastoral Areas of the Diocese will take up different responsibilities outside their own parishes too.