Bishop Paul Dempsey updates parishioners on Tuam Province and on his appointment to Dublin

16 Apr, 2024 | Bishops, Church, News, Pope

On Wednesday, 10 April, His Excellency Archbishop Luis Montemayor, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, announced significant changes for four of the dioceses of the Western Province of Tuam.  The Nuncio delivered the news in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Tuam, having concelebrated Mass with Archbishop Francis Duffy of Tuam; Bishop John Fleming of Killala; Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin; Bishop Michael Duignan, Bishop of Galway and Bishop of Clonfert; and with Bishop Paul Dempsey of Achonry.

While the Nuncio’s message was positive news for the future of the Church in the west of Ireland, it was also accompanied with the announcement that Bishop Dempsey would be leaving his role as Bishop of Achonry to become Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Dublin, and that Bishop Fleming would be retiring as Bishop of Killala.

Following this announcement Bishop Dempsey (pictured) wrote to the parishioners of Achonry reflecting on the consultation process in the Province, as well as on his own new appointment.

Bishop Dempsey said, “since coming to Ireland last year, the Papal Nuncio has visited the relevant dioceses where he met with priest representatives and several members of the lay faithful who have leadership roles in the various Dioceses.  Following these gatherings those present were invited to write to the Nuncio with any other ideas, concerns, insights they might have, which resulted in last Wednesday’s announcement of closer links between Achonry and Elphin (and Tuam and Killala).”

Bishop Dempsey continued that while “the changes announced are not essentially about Dioceses or Bishops.  The changes are more importantly about supporting the local parish faith communities.  Parish identity is very important and is what really matters to people.  By bringing dioceses together the availability of extra resources to support local parish communities offers new possibilities.  The larger diocesan structure has greater potential to resource parishes with people who have skills and experience in such areas as youth ministry, pastoral expertise, safeguarding and in administration.  Having these resources available to people and priests at local level is essential to ensuring our parish communities are well supported in carrying out the mission entrusted to us.”

Bishop Dempsey also expressed his deep gratitude to the people, priests, religious, staff and deacons of Achonry for their welcome, love and support during his ministry there, and he encouraged all to take heart, have hope and to pray for the many positive initiatives happening on the ground to help sustain the faith in this beautiful and historic diocese.



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