1. Shortage of Priests.
2. Changing needs in pastoral ministry.
3. Population change (people moving to new areas).
Castlebar Parish is the main parish of the cluster and has a huge population of over 17,000 people plus the Hospital Chaplancy to Mayo General; chaplancy to the sisters of Mercy (over 60 sisters) and chaplancy to GMIT., Castlebar. These are all factors that put a larger demand on the pastoral ministry of Castlebar Parish. Mayo General Hospital has one full time Priest who acts as the full time chaplain were as the other two have to be taken care of by the Priests' of the Parish. Due to this fact the Archbishop Neary has asked that the Priests' of the cluster work together so that these ministries can be divided evenly between a larger group of Priests, etc.
This cluster has not really seen it's full function until recently. Due to the retirement of three priests in the cluster and the fact that they have only been replaced with one priest, we now have to start working more together as a cluster.
The following changes have taken place in our cluster:
Very Rev. Michael Nohilly, SMA, ADM., Parke & Crimlin to retire on health grounds to reside in Castlebar.
Very Rev. Peter Waldron, PP., Keelogues to retire. To be Pastor Emeritus and Assitant Priest, Keelogues. To continue in his role as chaplain to the Abbey Breaffy Nursing home.
Very Rev. Canon. Austin Fergus, PP., Mayo Abbey to retire. To be Pastor Emeritus and Assitant Priest, Mayo Abbey.
Very Rev. John Conroy, PP., Aughgower to be PP., Parke/Crimlin & Keelogues. To reside in Parke.
Very Rev. Denis Carney, currently PP., Balla/belcarra to be in addition, PP., Mayo Abbey.
Rev. Patrick Farragher, Family Centre to be CC., Achill.
We are very grateful to Fr. Peter and Canon Austin who have retired but have agreed to stay residing in their parishes and assistant with sacramental care.
Over the next number of weeks we will be reviewing the Mass times, etc and seeing how they can be changed in order to see how they can best serve the pastoral needs that we have.
Please, pray for guidance during this time of change!
Cluster Parish Team