This weekend will be the final occasion for many of the diocese's clergy to celebrate Mass in theri current parishes as the new diocesan changes come into effect on Monday next, 17th June.
Bishop of Meath, Thomas Deenihan, has accepted the resignation, on grounds of age, of two priests: Fr. Joe Clavin, PP, Dunshaughlin and Fr. Paddy Keary, PP, Clara. Fr. Clavin was ordained 51 years ago and Fr. Keary was ordained 54 years ago. Fr. Clavin will continue to minister in Dunshaughlin parish as an assistant priest, based in Culmullen. Bishop Deenihan thanked both of them for their lifetime work for the Diocese and the people whom they served.
Fr Clavin was ordained in 1968 in Rome, and served as curate in Mullingar 1968, Nobber 1968, Trim 1961, Navan 1984. He became, Navan, in 1987, PP, Castletown Kilpatrick, 1993 and PP, Dunshaughlin, 2002. He was appointed as Vicar Forane of Ratoath Deanery in 2006. There will be a low-key funstion to mark his retirement in Dunshaughlin Pastoral Centre following 7.30pm Mass on Saturday night. A small presentatin will be made by the Parish Council - details from 087 6462914 or 087 241 9449.
Fr Patrick Keary was ordained in 1965 in Maynooth, and served in St Finian’s 1965 – 1988; CC Kilcloon, 1988; CC Holy Family, 1992; PP, Holy Family, 1994, and Clara, 2005, and Vicar Forane of Clara Deanery in 2006.
Fr. Paul Crosbie, who served as diocesan secretary to Bishop Smith and as administrator of the cathedral leaves Mullingar after 16 years and becomes parish priest of Trim. Bishop Deenihan thanked Fr. Crosbie for his dedicated service to the diocese and Bishop Smith and for his support and guidance to himself since his appointment last year.
Fr. Derek Darby, the parish priest of Ashbourne has been appointed administrator in Mullingar and Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Planning and Development. An episcopal vicar is a priest appointed by the bishop to oversee an important aspect of diocesan life on the Bishops behalf. Bishop Deenihan said that pastoral development and planning were essential for the future of the diocese and the welfare of its parishes and said that Fr. Darby was an ideal man to oversee such a task.
Bishop Deenihan has put in place structures in two areas where priests will work in close cooperation. In Duleek and Donore, Fr. John Conlon will continue in the role of parish priest of Duleek and will become administrator of Donore. Fr. Michael Hinds will become curate to both Duleek and Dorore, residing in Donore.
Fr David Bradley will leave Holy Family, Drogheda after twenty five years and will become parish priest of Multyfarnham. Fr. Phil Gaffney, currently PP of Saint Mary’s Drogheda, will become, in addition, administrator of Holy Family, Drogheda. Both Fr. Cyprian Solomon and Fr. Conor Magee will become curates to both the Drogheda parishes and Fr. Magee will reside in Holy Family Parish. Bishop Deenihan acknowledged the work that Fr. Bradly had given to the parish of Holy Family, Drogheda for the past 25 years and said that he was very much appreciated by the people there for whom he worked so selflessly.
Bishop Deenihan said that such cooperation was desirable in the context of sharing resources and providing support but also in the context of the decline in the number of priests. There is no priestly ordination in the Diocese of Meath this year. Bishop Deenihan said that it was vital that parishes did all they could to encourage and support vocations to the priesthood in the diocese. He commended this intention to the prayers of the people of the diocese.
Appointments in detail
Fr. Joe Gallagher, PP Tullamore to be Vicar General in addition to Fr. Declan Hurley, Navan.
Fr. Derek Darby, PP Ashbourne to be Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Planning and Development and Adm, Mullingar.
Fr. Joe Clavin, PP Dunshaughlin to be AP Dunshaughlin, residing in Culmullen.
Fr. Paddy Keary, PP Clara to retire.
Fr. John Conlon, PP Duleek to be Adm Donore in addition.
Fr Sean Henry, PP Trim to be PP Dunshaughlin.
Fr. Gabriel Flynn, AP Dunboyne to DCU and on loan to Dublin, Pro Tem.
Fr. Joe Deegan to be PP Clara.
Fr. Phil Gaffney, PP Saint Mary’s, Drogheda to be Adm Holy Family in addition.
Fr. David Bradley, PP Holy Family, Drogheda to be PP Multyfarnham.
Fr. Paul Crosbie, Adm, Mullingar to be PP Trim.
Fr. John Nally, PP Ballynacargy to be PP Ashbourne.
Fr Shane Crombie, CC Tullamore to be CC Navan.
Fr. Tony Gonoude, Adm, Donore to be PP, Ballynacargy.
Fr Kevin Heery, CC Navan to be CC Mullingar.
Fr. John Hogan, PP Multyfarnham to Post-Graduate Study and Priest-in-residence Dunboyne.
Fr. Declan Kelly, CC Dunshaughlin to be CC Dunboyne.
Fr. Michael Hinds, CC Dunboyne to be CC Duleek and CC Donore.
Fr. Conor Magee, CC Clara to be CC Holy Family, Drogheda and CC Saint Mary’s, Drogheda residing in Holy Family.
Fr. Noel Weir, CC Laytown/Mornington to be AP Navan, Pro Tem
Fr. Cyprian Solomon, CC Clara to be CC Saint Mary’s Drogheda and CC Holy Family, Drogheda
Fr. Fergal Cummins, CC Drogheda to be CC Tullamore.
Fr. Joseph Apust, Diocese of Minna, Nigeria to be CC Laytown/Mornington and Post-Graduate Studies, Maynooth.
Bishop Deenihan has appointed Fr. Joe Gallagher, PP, Tullamore, as Vicar General. Fr Gallagher will join Fr. Declan Hurley, PP, Navan, who is also a Vicar General of the Diocese. The Vicar General assists the Bishop in the Governance of the Diocese and also acts as a Trustee of the Diocese.
Fr Gallagher, a native of Mucklagh, was ordained from Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth in 1988 and, that same year was appointed Curate at the Cathedral. He has served as Director of the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes for the past fifteen years. He was appointed as Cathedral Administrator in 2004, Parish Priest of Kilcormac in 2009 and Parish Priest of Tullamore in 2013. He served previously as Vicar Forane in the Mullingar Deanery (2004-2009) and Tullamore Deanery (2016-19).