News

Jul 18, 2017

Clerical changes 2017


The impact of dwindling vocations nationwide has been mitigated this year in Limerick as the diocesan clerical changes announced this week includes two priests returning to the diocese.

The changes, announced by Bishop Brendan Leahy, see two parish priests retiring and the already announced move of Fr. Chris O’Donnell for a year to Dublin to help write the sixth class religion book that will be part of the programme produced by Veritas, Grow in Love.

However, the changes reveal the return of Canon Gerard Garrett to the diocese after 27 years serving with the Marriage Tribunal in Cork.  He will take over as Parish Priest in Monaleen, with Monsignor Dan Neenan moving to Adare where he will assume the role of Parish Priest and will also be ministering in the Curraghchase pastoral area.

Monsignor Neenan will replace Fr. Joe Noonan who is retiring as Adare Parish Priest.

Fr. Richard Keane, meanwhile, returns from Toronto where he was studying Canon Law for two years. He will take up the post of Administrator of Cratloe where Fr. Liam Enright is retiring as Parish Priest.  He will also be ministering in the Thomond Area as well as taking up the role of Diocesan Vocations Director and Judicial Vicar of the Cork Regional Marriage Tribunal.

The other changes will see Fr. Pat Hogan, alongside his duties as Chaplain to the Travelling Community in Limerick city, take on the role of Parish Priest of Corpus Christi Parish and as well as ministering in the team of priests serving the parishes of St. Munchin’s/St. Lelia’s and Corpus Christi.

The final change will see Fr. Frank O’Dea become Assistant Director of the Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage.

Announcing the changes, Bishop Leahy said:  “We all know the challenges we face from dwindling vocations but this year we have relatively few changes, thanks in large part to both Canon Gerard and Fr. Richard returning.  A small number of priests have taken on additional duties and I am very conscious of the workload on all our priests.  No more than any organisation would be with regard to the work of their people, we are all indebted to them for their generosity and dedication.

“I want to, in particular, pay tribute to both Fr. Joe Noonan and Fr. Liam Enright for their unstinting service over many, many years.  They have been worthy disciples through their commitment across Church and community and we wish them every best in their much deserved retirement in the years ahead.”

Bishop Leahy added:  “We are a just over a year on now from our Synod, which was very much about facing the Church in our diocese into the future and that will be very much one of greater lay involvement. Over the coming year we will begin to implement more initiatives from the Synod, all with a view to sharing the workload, yes, but also the joy of spreading God’s word.”

The full list of Limerick Diocesan Clerical Changes 2017 is as follows:

  • Monsignor Dan Neenan to be Parish Priest of Adare parish and ministering in the Curraghchase pastoral area.
  • Fr. Joe Noonan to retire as Parish Priest of Adare parish.
  • Canon Gerard Garrett to be Parish Priest of Monaleen parish and ministering in the Cathedral pastoral area.
  • Fr. Richard Keane to be Administrator of Cratloe parish, ministering in the Thomond Area; the Diocesan Vocations Director; and Judicial Vicar of the Cork Regional Marriage Tribunal.
  • Fr. Liam Enright to retire as Parish Priest of Cratloe parish.
  • Fr. Pat Hogan, alongside his duties as Chaplain to the Travelling Community in Limerick City, to be Parish Priest of Corpus Christi parish, ministering in the team of priests serving the parishes of St. Munchin’s/St. Lelia’s and Corpus Christi.
  • Fr. Chris O’Donnell to be released from his duties as Youth Ministry Director, Pro-Tem Director of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre and Parish Chaplain in St. Michael’s in order to be a member of the team writing the sixth class material for Veritas’ Grow in Love programme.
  • Fr. Frank O’Dea to be Assistant Director of the Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage