Shortage of priests presents ‘great challenges’ in Ireland

Archbishop Dermot Farrell (CNS/John McElroy)

Dublin Archbishop Dermot Farrell has pledged to respond “positively and swiftly” to new proposals put forward by his parishes to deal with the shortage of priests. Source: The Tablet.

In his June 3 homily for the Feast of St Kevin, a patron of Dublin, Archbishop Farrell acknowledged that his diocese, the largest in Ireland, is facing “great challenges”.

“We face a particular challenge of the shortage of priests to minister to our parish communities — communities which themselves are very different from even one generation ago,” he said.

At Mass in Dublin’s Pro Cathedral, he said that as bishop of the diocese, it was his strong conviction that “we are not called to be passive in the face of changes which imperil the three-fold mission with which we have been entrusted, but together to shape our future in the light of the Gospel”.

He pledged to respond positively and swiftly to the proposals he receives from parish communities on how to organise themselves more effectively and renew themselves for the Church’s mission, including “responding to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth”.

Archbishop Farrell announced that he is putting in place formation programs to support those who are willing to undertake leadership and ministry in new ways, working alongside priests and deacons in the pastoral leadership of parishes.

He said his call to the diocesan family was to embrace what Pope Francis calls Christian risk.

“It is a call to ensure that the way the Church is organised, our structures or our pastoral certainties, do not restrict our mission in the 21st century.


Shortage of priests presents 'great challenges' in Ireland says Archbishop (By Sarah Mac Donald, The Tablet)

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