A new parish administrator has been appointed to St Mary’s parish in Athlone it has been confirmed in diocesan appointments announced by the Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Francis Duffy this past weekend.
Fr Declan Shannon, who has served the role for the previous six years, will be replaced by Fr Patrick Murphy, former PP for Mohill and Fenagh. Fr Shannon has been appointed to the position of Chaplain for the Defence Forces at Custume Barracks in Athlone.
Following two years of service as a CC in Athlone, Fr Pierre Pepper has been appointed as parish administrator for Streete and Rathowen.
Fr Reji Kurian, formerly CC in Longford, will serve the role of resident priest in Boher and will also assist in Athlone.
Formally announcing the most recent appointments, Bishop Duffy noted that the two largest parishes within the diocese, Athlone and Longford, each have a reduction in clergy numbers.
“I thank all our priests for all their dedicated and generous service and I thank the Parish Pastoral Councils for the important role they carry out at local level.
“This year our two largest parishes, Athlone and Longford, each have a reduction in clergy. Unfortunately, because of the age profile of clergy and lack of vocations, some priests will not be replaced as they retire or are reassigned.
“I encourage continued collaboration between parishes. I also encourage continued prayer and support for vocations in the diocese.
“I wish every blessing and happiness to all our clergy who are taking up new appointments,” Bishop Duffy stated.