There will be new faces and sad farewells in Carlow parishes following a reshuffle of Catholic clergy in the diocese.
Popular administrator of Carlow Cathedral Fr Ruairí Ó Domhnaill will shortly leave Carlow to become parish priest in Newbridge.
Fr Ó’Domhnaill succeeds Fr Paul Dempsey who was appointed Bishop Elect of Achonry.
Tullow parish priest Fr Andy Leahy is also headed to the Thoroughbred County as parish priest of Kildare town parish.
Replacing Fr Ó Domhnaill in Carlow Cathedral is Myshall and Clonegal PP Fr Thomas O’Byrne.
Fr O’Byrne will also assist in the Bishop’s house.
Fr Brian Maguire will also move from Carlow Cathedral to become parish priest in Tullow.
Laois based priest, Fr Pat Hughes, is set to become parish priest of Myshall and Clonegal.
Carlow priest and Nationalist columnist Paddy Byrne has also been appointed as parish priest of Ballinakill in Co Laois along with his current role as PP in Abbeyleix and Raheen.
The changes will come into effect on 4 September.
Commenting on the diocesan appointments, Bishop Denis Nulty said: “These have been a very difficult few months on all of us, our parishes, our families and personally; none more so than our priests serving at the frontline of parish duty. As we are emerging gently out of lockdown, celebrating Masses with limited congregations reminds us we have to learn to live alongside the Covid-19 virus. The demands at parish level are huge, there is the urgency to ‘catch up’ on missed sacramental moments and there is that very real fear of what a ‘second wave’ might mean. And, in the middle of it all, there are diocesan appointments that must be made.
“Changing parish is never easy for priests or their parishioners and changing parish in the middle of a pandemic is a huge ask. I sincerely thank all the priests involved in this year’s appointments.
“The announcement last January of Fr Paul Dempsey’s appointment as Bishop of Achonry was a huge moment for our diocese. It is great for Kildare & Leighlin, to see one of our own, with his gifts and potential, recognised by Pope Francis. I wish Paul every grace and blessing and ask you all to remember him as he prepares for his Episcopal Ordination in Ballaghaderreen on 30 August.
“I also wish the priests who are retiring from parish priest duties this year, Fr Seán Conlon and Fr Adrian Carbery, every blessing as they assume less onerous duties in their respective parishes. I wish Fr Eddie Kavanagh a full recovery and good health in his retirement. I thank all our priests who have accepted new and additional responsibilities. I welcome two new priests who will be joining us – Fr Robert Petrisor comes from Bucharest in Romania and Fr Yanbo Chen SVD who was ordained from Maynooth last year.”
The Kildare & Leighlin diocesan appointments are as follows:
- Fr Ruairí Ó Domhnaill Adm. Cathedral to become PP Newbridge in succession to Fr Paul Dempsey, Bishop Elect of Achonry
- Fr Liam Morgan PP Naas, Sallins, Two Mile House to become VF Kildare & Leighlin North Deanery, retaining responsibility for Parish Renewal & Development
- Fr Seán Conlon PP Ballinakill to become PE CC Ballinakill, Abbeyleix & Raheen
- Fr Adrian Carbery PP Kildare to become PE CC Kildare
- Fr Eddie Kavanagh PP Balyna to retire
- Fr Paddy Byrne PP Abbeyleix & Raheen to become also PP Ballinakill
- Fr Andy Leahy PP Tullow to become PP Kildare
- Fr Seán Maher CC Naas, Sallins, Two Mile House to become PP Balyna and Diocesan Scripture Resource Person
- Fr Thomas O’Byrne PP Myshall & Clonegal to become Adm. Cathedral & to assist at Bishop’s House
- Fr Brian Maguire SPS CC Cathedral to become PP Tullow
- Fr Pat Hughes CC Emo & Portarlington to become PP Myshall & Clonegal
- Fr Joe O’Neill who was on loan to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to become CC Emo & Portarlington
- Fr Gaspar Habara SVD CC Kildare to become CC Cathedral
- Fr Yanbo Chen SVD to reside in Cathedral Presbytery and to assist in the wider area
- Fr Robert Petrisor (Archdiocese of Bucharest, Romania) to become CC Naas, Sallins, Two-Mile-House