Bishop’s statement on Priests’ Appointments and the Introduction of Families of Parishes

Bishop Fintan at a recent diocesan meeting with parishioners and clergy to discuss Families of Parishes.

How priests minister in the parishes of the Diocese of Cork and Ross will change significantly in September. The diocese will have 16 families of parishes and each will be ministered to by a team of priests. Each priest will be resident in a particular parish but ministering across the whole family of parishes.

Bringing parishes together as families of parishes presents an opportunity for much greater lay participation and shared leadership of parishes. Initially, the team will consist of priests but I hope that lay leadership and more involvement will grow in time. It will involve parishes working much more closely together and sharing their gifts, talents and resources including their priests. The collaboration in families of parishes presents a great opportunity for parishes to prepare together for Baptism, Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, Confirmation and Marriage. In time, parish funeral ministry teams can work together across each family of parishes. It will allow for initiatives across a family of parishes for those who have become disconnected from our Church. It will also provide opportunities for outreach to young people within the family of parishes. It is hoped that there will be greater possibilities for formation and faith development.

A more comprehensive presentation of how the family of parishes will work and why they are being introduced at this time is set out in my pastoral letter Putting Out into Deep Waters and is available here. I invite you to read this pastoral.

In preparation for the introduction of the families of parishes, a summary of the main points of the pastoral letter will be read at all Masses in our diocese on the weekend of Saturday/Sunday 27th/28th August, 2022. (Printed versions of this will be available in churches that weekend. A printed version of the full pastoral letter will also be available at that time in parishes.)

Many people, including parishioners, clergy, religious, diocesan staff and professional facilitators, have shared wisdom, insights, expertise and prayerful support as we have been preparing together for this new era in our diocese. The part that each person has played is much appreciated.

I would like to thank all the priests who have accepted new appointments in recent weeks. Priests appointed to the families of parishes have shown great generosity and openness in responding to this new way of ministering together.

I also thank those priests who will step back from their responsibilities as parish priests, curates or assistant priests this Summer. I am grateful for their many years of dedicated and generous service to the diocese and wish them every blessing in this new stage of their life and ministry. The ministry in the diocese by the priests who are returning to their religious orders after serving in the diocese is also much appreciated.

Initially, we will begin with 12 families of parishes in the first phase which are outlined below with the names of those priests serving in the families of parishes.

Family of Parishes of Aughadown, Castlehaven, Kilmacabea, Rath and the Islands and Skibbereen

  • Fr. Bernard Cotter Co-PP resident in Castlehaven Parish
  • Fr. John Heinhold SPS Co-PP resident in Skibbereen Parish
  • Fr. Terry O’Brien MSC Co-PP resident in Kilmacabea Parish
  • Fr. Evin O’Brien CC resident in Skibbereen Parish

Fr. John Heinhold SPS Co-PP will fulfil the role of Moderator.

Family of Parishes of Ardfield and Rathbarry, Barryroe, Clonakilty, Kilmeen and Castleventry, Rosscarbery and Timoleague

  • Fr. Tom Hayes Co-PP resident in Clonakilty Parish
  • Canon John Kingston Co-PP resident in Timoleague Parish
  • Fr. John McCarthy Co-PP resident in Rosscarbery Parish
  • Fr. David O’Connell Co-PP resident in Barryroe Parish
  • Fr. Fergus Tuohy SMA CC resident in Clonakilty Parish
  • Fr. Ted Collins AP resident in Clonakilty Parish

Fr. Tom Hayes Co-PP will fulfil the role of Moderator

Family of Parishes of Ballincollig, Ballinora, and Ovens and Farran

  • Fr. Liam Ó hIcí Co-PP resident in Ovens and Farran Parish
  • Fr. Alan O’Leary Co-PP resident in Ballincollig Parish
  • Fr. Kamil Bachara CC resident in Ballincollig Parish
  • Fr. John Collins AP resident in Ballinora Parish

Fr. Alan O’Leary Co-PP will fulfil the role of Moderator

Family of Parishes of Ballinhassig, Clontead, Courceys and Kinsale

  • Fr. Michael O’Mahony Co-PP resident in Courceys Parish
  • Fr. Daniel Pyburn Co-PP resident in Ballinhassig Parish
  • Fr. Michael Regan Co-PP resident in Kinsale Parish
  • Fr. Robert Young Co-PP resident in Kinsale Parish

Fr. Robert Young Co-PP will fulfil the role of Moderator

Family of Parishes of Ballyphehane, The Lough and Togher

  • Canon John Paul Hegarty Co-PP resident in The Lough Parish
  • Fr. Greg Howard Co-PP resident in Ballyphehane Parish
  • Fr. John Walsh Co-PP resident in Togher Parish
  • Canon Jim O’Donovan AP resident in The Lough Parish

Fr. Greg Howard Co-PP will fulfil the role of Moderator

Family of Parishes of Bandon, Enniskeane and Desertserges, Innishannon and Knockavilla, Kilbrittain, Kilmurry, and Murragh and Templemartin

  • Fr. Jerry Cremin Co-PP resident in Kilbrittain Parish
  • Fr. Finbarr Crowley Co-PP resident in Innishannon and Knockavilla Parish
  • Canon Bernard Donovan Co-PP resident in Kilmurry Parish
  • Fr. Michael Kelleher Co-PP resident in Enniskeane and Desertserges Parish
  • Fr. John Newman Co-PP resident in Bandon Parish
  • Fr. Bartlomiej Dziedzic CC resident in Bandon Parish
  • Canon Bertie O’Mahony AP resident in Bandon Parish

Fr. John Newman Co-PP will fulfil the role of Moderator

Family of Parishes of Bantry, Caheragh, Goleen, Muintir Bháire and Schull

  • Fr. Myles McSweeney Co-PP resident in Schull Parish
  • Canon Martin O’Driscoll Co-PP resident in Bantry Parish
  • Fr. Michael Anthony Buckley CC resident in Goleen Parish
  • Fr. Ben Hodnett CC resident in Bantry Parish
  • Fr. John C. O’Donovan AP resident in Caheragh Parish

Fr. Myles McSweeney Co-PP will fulfil the role of Moderator

Family of Parishes of Carrigaline, Crosshaven, Harbour Parishes (Monkstown and Passage West) and Tracton Abbey

  • Fr. James McSweeney Co-PP resident in Carrigaline Parish
  • Fr. Chris O’Donovan Co-PP resident in Harbour Parishes
  • Mons. Aidan O’Driscoll Co-PP resident in Carrigaline Parish
  • Fr. Pat Stevenson Co-PP resident in Crosshaven Parish
  • Fr. Aidan Cremin CC resident in Carrigaline Parish

Mons. Aidan O’Driscoll Co-PP will fulfil the role of Moderator

Family of Parishes of Carrignavar, Glanmire, Glounthaune and Watergrasshill and Glenville

  • Fr. Christopher Fitzgerald Co-PP resident in Watergrasshill and Glenville Parish
  • Fr. Pat Fogarty Co-PP resident in Glanmire Parish
  • Canon Martin Keohane Co-PP resident in Carrignavar Parish
  • Fr. Damian O’Mahony Co-PP resident in Glounthaune Parish
  • Fr. Pat Nugent CC resident in Glanmire Parish

Fr. Christopher Fitzgerald Co-PP will fulfil the role of Moderator

Family of Parishes of Clogheen/Kerry Pike, Farranree, Gurranabraher and Knocknaheeny/Hollyhill

  • Fr. Cian O’Sullivan Co-PP resident in Knocknaheeny/Hollyhill Parish
  • Fr. Seán O’Sullivan Co-PP resident in Farranree Parish
  • Fr. Tomás Walsh SMA Co-PP resident in Gurranabraher Parish
  • Fr. Aidan Vaughan OFM Cap CC resident in Gurranabraher Parish

Fr. Seán O’Sullivan Co-PP will fulfil the role of Moderator

Family of Parishes of Drimoleague, Dunmanway, Kilmichael and Uibh Laoire

  • Fr. Liam Crowley Co-PP resident in Drimoleague Parish
  • Fr. Pat O’Donovan Co-PP resident in Dunmanway Parish
  • Fr. Anthony O’Mahony Co-PP resident in Uibh Laoire Parish
  • Fr. Rafal Zielonka CC resident in Dunmanway Parish

Fr. Pat O’Donovan Co-PP will fulfil the role of Moderator

Family of Parishes of South Parish, St. Patrick’s and Ss Peter and Paul’s

  • Fr. Joseph E. Whooley PP resident in South Parish
  • Fr. Jilson Kokkandathil CC resident in South Parish
  • Fr. Marius O’Reilly CC resident in SS Peter and Paul’s Parish

Fr. Joseph E. Whooley PP will fulfil the role of Moderator

Priests appointed to parishes which will be in families of parishes in 2023:

Fr. Donal Cotter to be Administrator of Ballineaspaig Parish

Fr. Con Doherty MSC to be Parish Priest in Sacred Heart Parish

Fr. Des Farren MSC to be Curate in Sacred Heart Parish

Canon Michael Murphy to be Assistant Priest in Ballinlough Parish

Fr. Gus O’Driscoll SMA to be Father-in-Charge pro-tem in Blackrock Road Parish

Fr. Noel O’Sullivan to be Administrator of Turner’s Cross Parish

Fr. Jerome Sassou SMA to be Curate in Blackrock Road Parish

The remaining four families of parishes will be established in 2023:

  • Family of Parishes of Ballineaspaig, Curraheen Road, Sacred Heart and Wilton
  • Family of Parishes of Ballinlough, Blackrock, Blackrock Road and Mahon
  • Family of Parishes of Blackpool/The Glen/Ballyvolane, St. Joseph’s Mayfield, St. Vincent’s, Upper Mayfield and The Cathedral
  • Family of Parishes of Douglas, Frankfield/Grange and Turner’s Cross

The following appointments to healthcare chaplaincies have also been made:-

  • Fr. Declan Mansfield to be Chaplain in Marymount University Hospice
  • Fr. Patrick McCarthy to be Chaplain in Mercy University Hospital
  • Fr. Jerry Thornton MSC to be Chaplain in St. Stephen’s Hospital, Sarsfield’s Court

Retirements:

Fr. Donal Cahill, Fr. Tom Clancy, Fr. Patrick Hickey, Fr. Charlie Nyhan, Canon George Murphy, Mons. Kevin O’Callaghan, Canon Tadhg Ó Mathúna and Fr. Billy O’Sullivan will retire from full-time ministry. I am deeply grateful for their service and commitment over many years in their diocesan appointments throughout their dedicated priestly ministry.

Fr. J.P. O’Riordan CSsR, Fr. Tom Mulcahy MSC and Fr Alphonse Sekongo SMA are returning to their religious orders.

These appointments take effect on Saturday, September 10th, 2022.

+ Fintan Gavin

Bishop of Cork and Ross