Father Tom taking a break
One of the most popular priests in Sligo is taking leave for almost a year.
Canon Tom Hever is stepping down as Administrator of Saint Mary's Cathedral Parish in Sligo in order to undertake a period of sabbatical leave.
Canon Tom told The Sligo Champion that he would miss the town very much and that he had thought long and hard before taking the decision to take his break.
"Sligo has been very kind and good to me over the years. Its people and places were very familiar to me over the years. It was such a joy to be able to walk down the town and know everyone I meet," he said. The Strandhill Road native has been Administrator at St Mary's for the past twelve years and has been in Sligo since 1990. After being ordained he was in Strokestown for four years before spending seven years in the parish of Calry/St Joseph's in Ballytivnan and later attached to Sligo Social Services before a spell at St Angela's College.
Canon Tom said he will be going on a 30 day retreat to Wales in October before undertaking a visit to the Holy Land for three weeks and further reflection and study will follow at the Cathlolic Institute in Chicago with a return to Sligo next June when it will be up to Bishop Doran to decide which parish he will be allocated to.
"I'm looking forward to the break. There'll be some study but I won't have the pressure of exams or deadlines," he said.
Bishop Kevin Doran has appointed Donegal native, Fr Declan Boyce SPS as Canon Tom's replacement, effective from 31st August. He has been in St Mary's for three years.
Bishop Kevin said: "I am very grateful to Canon Tom for his generous service at the Cathedral, which is not only a busy working parish, but also the mother Church of the Diocese. In the meantime, he remains in his role as Vicar General.
Canon Hever said St Mary's was a great parish with good people and it deserved new vision from someone like Fr Boyce and the fact he was already attached to the parish meant the transition would be seamless.