16 Aug 2022

Clerical changes: four priests retire and Diocese welcomes clergy from overseas

Bishop Alan McGuckian announces clerical changes for Diocese of Raphoe

The Bishop of Raphoe has called on election candidates to address social justice issues

Bishop McGuckian has announced clerical changes for Diocese of Raphoe

Four well-known priests in the Diocese of Raphoe are retiring, and a number of other clerical changes have been announced. 

Bishop Alan McGuckian has revealed details of all upcoming changes:

–      Very Rev Dean Austin Laverty, PP, Ardara to retire and to be PE, Ardara.

–      Very Rev Seán Ó Gallachóir, PP, Gort a’ Choirce to retire.

–      Very Rev Pat McHugh, PP, Gartan & Termon to retire.

–      Very Rev Padraig Ó Baoighill, PP, Gaoth Dobhair to retire.

–      Very Rev Ciaran Harkin, PP, Newtowncunningham & Killea to be PP, Aughaninshin (Irish Martyrs).

–      Very Rev Aodhan Cannon, PP, Dungloe (Templecrone) to be PP, Ardara

–      Rev Michael McKeever, VG, CC, Gartan & Termon to be PP Gartan and Termon.

–      Rev Donnchadh Ó Baoill, CC, Fintown to be PP, Gort a’ Choirce & Tory Island.

–      Rev Brian Ó Fearraigh, CC, Gaoth Dobhair & Chaplain to Pobalscoil Gaoth Dobhair to be PP, Gaoth Dobhair.

–      Rev Johnny Moore, CC, Ardara to be PP, Dungloe (Templecrone).

–      Rev Philip Kemmy, CC, Conwal & Leck to be PP, Newtowncunningham & Killea.

–      Rev Brendan Ward, CC, Aughaninshin (Irish Martyrs) to be CC, Gaoth Dobhair & Chaplain to Pobalscoil Gaoth Dobhair.

–      Rev Kizito Kalemeera on loan from the Archdiocese of Kampala, Uganda to be CC, Conwal & Leck.

–      Fr John Attoh on loan from the Diocese of Kafanchan, Nigeria to be priest in residence Termon.

–      Rev Dominic Thoomkuzhy on loan from the Diocese of Thamarassery, India to be CC, Aughaninshin (Irish Martyrs) as well as Chaplain to the Syro-Malabar Community in the Diocese. (Effective 1st October 2022).


Bishop McGuckian said: “Around Pentecost Sunday this year we launched our Diocesan Pastoral Plan ‘Forward together; Ar Aghaidh le chéile.’

“The goal of the Plan is to help us, at the level of both parish and diocese, to become praying and discerning communities, well grounded in our faith and in the Word of God. In the coming months we hope to appoint someone to the position of Director of Pastoral Renewal to help us move forward in harmony with the plan.

“This is the time of year when Clergy changes come. I am very conscious of the faithful service of all of our priests over the years. This year our changes are impacted by the recent and unexpected death of a much-loved priest who left us too young. We commend Fr Brian Quinn to the Lord.

“Also, a number of men are retiring as Parish Priests after many years of service. I thank them all for their generosity and pray that retirement affords them a well-earned rest from the burdens of leadership and a chance to care for their health.

“The diocese relies on the generosity of priests and their availability to accept new appointments when they come. I thank all those men who are beginning a time of service in new places.

“I wish a very warm Céad Míle Fáilte to the priests who are coming from overseas to serve among us and thank them and their home dioceses most sincerely for their help and support.

“For parish communities the departure of a priest marks an ending and a loss. As Christians we are invited to recognise that all our endings are also new beginnings. As both priests and parishes have new beginnings, I pray God’s blessing on our whole diocese. May the coming year be one in which we truly move ‘forward together – ar aghaidh le chéile.’”

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