Bishop of Limerick thanks retiring priests as clerical changes are announced

Áine Fitzgerald

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Áine Fitzgerald

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aine.fitzgerald@limerickleader.ie

Bishop of Limerick thanks retiring priests as clerical changes are announced

Bishop Brendan Leahy has confirmed a number of clerical appointments across the diocese

BISHOP of Limerick Brendan Leahy has said that the combined issues of vocations fall-off and ageing priests is a “huge challenge” but that “we are getting reassuring glimpses of the possibilities ahead for the church”.

Speaking as he announced the annual clerical changes for the diocese, he said he has been greatly encouraged by the spirit of volunteerism shown throughout Covid-19 and that it can signal the future of “a church of everyone”.

Among the changes announced by Bishop Leahy was the appointment of Fr Éamonn Fitzgibbon as Vicar General of the Diocese. He joins Canon Anthony Mullins, who has been the Vicar General for some years.

Fr Éamonn Fitzgibbon is well-known in the diocese as the Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Planning and, in particular, for his significant role in the Diocesan Synod. He will, Bishop Leahy said, “bring wisdom and energy, vision and learning, pastoral sensitivity and outreach to his role”.

Bishop Leahy also congratulated former diocesan secretary Fr Paul Finnerty on his appointment as Rector of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome.

Sr Caitríona Kavanagh has been appointed OP Administrator of the Parish of St Saviour’s in Limerick City.

Sr Mara Grace had been the Administrator but was recalled by her congregation to take up the position of their Vocations’ Director.

The three priests retiring this year are Fr Tom Crawford, Fr Oliver Plunkett and Fr Dan Lane. However, all three will continue to assist in a number pf Pastoral Units when required

“I want to express my gratitude to them for many, many years of generous ministry and bearing the weight of parish responsibility so conscientiously,” said Bishop Leahy.

Below is the full list of clerical changes and appointments

Fr. Éamonn Fitzgibbon to become a Vicar General of the Diocese.

Fr. Tom Crawford retiring as Co-Parish Priest of Pastoral Unit 13 (Glin,Shanagolden/Robertstown/Foynes, Coolcappa/Kilcolman and Loughill/Ballyhahill). He will assist in Pastoral Unit 15 (Newcastle West, Monagea, Mahoonagh, Ardagh/Carrickerry).

Fr. Oliver Plunkett retiring as Co-Parish Priest of Pastoral Unit 2 (St. Joseph’s, St. Saviour’s and Our Lady of Lourdes) and Administrator of St. Joseph’s. He will be assisting in Pastoral Unit 2 and Pastoral Unit 4 (St. Munchin’s/St. Lelia’s, Corpus Christi and Parteen/Meelick).

Fr. Dan Lane retiring as Co-Parish Priest of Pastoral Unit 10 (Ballingarry, Rathkeale, Knockaderry/Cloncagh). He will assist in the Pastoral Unit 14 (Abbeyfeale, Athea, Templeglantine, Tournafolla, Mountcollins).

Sr. Caitríona Kavanagh OP to be Administrator of St. Saviour’s and member of the team of Pastoral Unit 2 (St. Joseph’s, St. Saviour’s and Our Lady of Lourdes).

Fr. Thomas Carroll to be Co-Parish Priest of Pastoral Unit 10 (Ballingarry/Granagh, Rathkeale, Knockaderry/Cloncagh)

Fr. Liam Enright to become Co-Parish Priest of Pastoral Unit 2 (St. Joseph’s, St. Saviour’s and Our Lady of Lourdes) and Administrator of St. Joseph’s.

Fr. Robbie Coffey to be Co-Parish Priest of Pastoral Unit 14 (Abbeyfeale, Athea, Templeglantine, Tournafulla/ Mountcollins).

Fr. Eamon Purcell to be Co-Parish Priest of Pastoral Unit 4 (Parteen/Meelick, St. Munchin’s/St. Lelia’s
and Corpus Christi).

Fr. Shoji Varghese to assist in chaplaincy in UHL and Pastoral unit 6 (Patrickswell/Ballybrown, Mungret/Raheen/Crecora and St Paul’s).

On the nomination of the Irish Bishops Conference, Fr. Paul Finnerty has been appointed Rector of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome.