Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Challenges

The fundamental mission of a Parish is to spread and deepen the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet parishes are also influenced by the cultural factors beyond their immediate control. As Irish society has been transformed, so too our Parishes have been undergoing changes. Among those changes is the decline in the number of Priests. We now reach another crossroads and require your participation in helping chart a way forward.

In order to meet the challenges of the future, the Parish of Newcastle and the Parish of Saggart, Rathcoole and Brittas have been invited to work more closely together. If managed successfully, these challenges can be turned into opportunities.
 Of particular urgency is the availability of priests. Diocesan requirements state that a priest should only celebrate the Eucharist twice in one day. In effect, there will only be two full-time priests to serve the two parishes – Fr. Enda Cunningham and Fr. Aiden Kieran. Fr. Michael McGowan is retired and Fr. Michael Shortall holds a full-time position in Maynooth College.

As a result, the most direct and immediate requirement is to restructure the celebration of the sacraments, in particular the Sunday Eucharist. This needs to be done immediately. As a result, we propose the following choices and timetable.
This process will rely very much on your generosity but I appreciate that it may discommode some. I thank the Parish Council and the Parish Team for debating and proposing possibilities.

Fr. Enda Cunningham - Parish Priest of Saggart, Administrator to Newcastle

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