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Four Pastoral Areas affected by Kerry Diocese reshuffle


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Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne has acknowledged that it will take time for the four affected Pastoral Areas to adjust as the Kerry Diocese announced its summer appointments.

Fr Joseph Begley will move from Glengarriff to Minister in Killarney, while Fr Jim Lenihan will become Parish Priest for Glenflesk. Fr Niall Howard will move from Killarney to the Kenmare Pastoral Area, where he will serve as Glengarriff Parish Priest. Fr Sean Jones of St John’s Parish, Tralee, will move to Minister in the Killarney Pastoral Area.

These changes will take effect in two weeks’ time on Wednesday, July 20.

“This summer’s appointments are few,” Bishop Browne said in the statement announcing the changes. “Still, they affect four Pastoral Areas, and it will take time for each to adjust.”

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In Dromtariffe, which falls under the Kerry Diocese, Parish Priest Fr Tom Leane is retiring after giving 50 years’ service. Dromtariffe Parish will now be served by the Priests of the Duhallow/Sliabh Luachra Pastoral Area, with Fr Jack Fitzgerald as Moderator. Bishop Browne thanked Fr Leane for his service.

Fr Amos Surungai Ruto and Fr Vitalis Barasa, who have served in recent years in Tralee, on loan from Kenya’s Kitale Diocese, will continue to work in the Kerry Diocese for a further three years.

Bishop Browne added that the Diocese’s increasing dependence on Lay Ministry shows no sign of abating, and he emphasised the importance that a newly launched programme

“Each year retirements means fewer Priests in our parishes,” he said. “Sadly, this is something that will continue. It is vital that our recently launched new initiative, ‘Ministry of Lay Pastoral Leader’, be successful.

“In the leaflet introducing this Ministry, I wrote: ‘In an era when priests and religious were more plentiful, so much was left in their care. Today they are fewer in number. Sustaining the fullness of life in the Parish family requires the participation, commitment, and leadership of the laity. Hence, I warmly welcome the ‘Ministry of Lay Pastoral Leadership that we embark upon.’

“As Pope Benedict said in 2009, ‘The laity must no longer be viewed as collaborators of the clergy but truly recognised as co-responsible for the Church’s being and action.’”