Pastoral units to compensate for fewer priests

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Bishop Brendan Leahy

A STRATEGY to deal with the decline in the number of priests and the need to promote greater lay involvement in the Catholic Church is set to emerge from the new ‘team ministry’ launched by the Diocese of Limerick last weekend.

In a pastoral letter read out at all parishes across the diocese, Bishop Brendan Leahy said that the move, signalled in the 2016 Limerick Diocesan Synod, will see existing parishes arranged into pastoral units.

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Teams of clergy will minister in each unit but existing parish identity will be preserved.

The new units will involve a number of parishes operating together, with two or three priests ministering together as a team to the pastoral needs of these parishes. Each of the priests will be a “co-Parish Priest” and will move around the pastoral unit, with different priests saying Masses in parishes week on week.

The team ministry unit may also see one baptismal team for the whole unit offering preparation for parents bringing their child for baptism with the baptisms then taking place in the local parish church.

There will be one pastoral council for each pastoral unit made up of members of each of the parishes of the unit. Each parish then will have its own smaller working group.

In his pastoral letter, Bishop Leahy stated: “The main goal in establishing pastoral units and team ministry is greater co-operation between parishes. The hope is that there will be a greater critical mass of energy, competencies and lay volunteers at the service of a number of parishes.

He said that the establishment of the Team Ministry Units was necessitated by the considerable decline in the number of priests, the increasing age profile of priests and increasing demands, bureaucratic and otherwise, on priests today.

Pastoral Unit 1

St John’s

Monaleen

St Patrick’s/St Brigid’s

St Michael’s

OLHOC Milford

Salesians – associate parish

 

 

Pastoral Unit 3

Donoughmore / Knockea / Roxboro

Our Lady Queen of Peace

Holy Family

 

 

Pastoral Unit 5

Christ the King

Cratloe/Sixmilebridge

Our Lady of the Rosary

 

 

Pastoral Unit 7

Banogue

Croom

Dromin/Athlacca

Manister

Fedamore

Bruff/Meanus/Grange

 

 

Pastoral Unit 9

Ardpatrick

Glenroe/Ballyorgan

Kilfinane

Bulgaden/Martinstown

Effin/Garrienderk

Kilmallock

 

 

Pastoral Unit 11

Croagh/Kilfinny

Adare

Cappagh

 

 

Pastoral Unit 13

Shanagolden/Robertstown/Foynes

Loughill/Ballyhahill

Glin

Coolcappa/Kilcolman

Pastoral Unit 2

St Joseph’s

St Saviour’s

Our Lady of Lourdes

 

Pastoral Unit 4

St Munchin’s/St Lelia’s

Corpus Christi

Parteen/Meelick

St Marys

St Nicholas

 

Pastoral Unit 6

Patrickswell/Ballybrown

Mungret/Raheen/Crecora

 

Pastoral Unit 8

Rockhill /Bruree

Castletown /Ballyagran /Colmanswell

 

Pastoral Unit 10

Rathkeale

Ballingarry/Granagh

Knockaderry/Cloncagh

 

Pastoral Unit 12

Kildimo/Pallaskenry

Kilcornan

Askeaton/Ballysteen

 

Pastoral Unit 14

Abbeyfeale

Athea

Templeglantine

Tournafulla/Mountcollins

 

Pastoral Unit 15

Newcastle West

Mahoonagh/Feohanagh/Castlemahon

Monagea

Ardagh/Carrickerry

 

Pastoral Unit 16

Dromcollogher/Broadford

Kelleedy/Ashford

Feenagh/Kilmeedy