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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

Bishop’s Letter – September

Dear Friends

As the hectic autumnal period in parish life beckons anew, one thinks of the busyness of schools both primary and secondary … the many services planned in order to give thanks for the blessings of the harvest … the preparing of much material for our own diocesan synod in October. Amidst all of this I look forward to meeting many of you during my own Route 66 diocesan peregrinations commencing on September 13.


By the time most readers receive this issue Trevor Sargent will have been ordained deacon in Shillelagh (on August 26) and we wish him well in his internship in Tullow group and in his final preparations to be ordained priest and to seek a curacy a year from now. Trevor of course brings to ordained ministry an extraordinary range of experience … political, educational, ecological and indeed much more. Later in the autumn, on Friday 13 October at 1930 in Kells, James Mulhall will begin his ministry as priest-in-charge of Kells Union with Inistioge. James of course is already well known to us all, and it is excellent that he will continue to serve the diocese in the area of Safeguarding and the resourcing of children’s ministry … areas in which his skills and knowledge are unrivalled. We wish James and the people of Kells many happy years of fruitful partnership in worship and ministry.


At the end of September Stella Durand … Canon, Doctor, and Lady … retires from Kiltegan after a long and effective ministry in a place where she is regarded with esteem, appreciation and real affection. It is probably true to say that Stella has not chosen to leave us at this point, but is one of relatively few clergy who has served all the way to the absolute maximum age for stipendiary ministry in the Church of Ireland. It is hard to believe that this is the case – given her energy, enthusiasm and amazing freshness of mind. Her gifts of scholarship and spirituality will be missed all over the diocese; her zest for life and activity, worthy indeed of someone in their twenties, will be missed in settings such as the GFS. Above all her parishioners will lament the departure of a priest who bore her people on her heart with constant prayer and active pastoral care. We wish her every blessing back in ancestral haunts in the county Sligo. She is one of a kind, and a woman greatly beloved.


In the goings and comings of life, we warmly welcome Rita Cammaer who is joining the staff of the diocesan office on a part-time basis and will soon become a familiar face and voice in our midst. Rita will be assisting Denise Hughes and Leslie Moynan primarily with the financial side of the work of the office. This is becoming ever more complex, not least in the context of the forthcoming implementation parish by parish of new and statutory charitable regulation. Rita’s presence will make available to parishes expertise and guidance, particularly in their day to day financial affairs, which will be based directly within the diocesan office itself. Leslie Moynan will continue to have a vital role in matters of oversight and strategy. Rita brings to her work with us much experience in the charitable sector internationally, particularly in the sphere of world development.


As always,we bear the need of the church and of the world in our prayers. We think of Canon Nancy Gillespie, coming to terms with the sudden death recently of Terence her husband – a Friend and source of wisdom for many not least when he shared Nancy’s post-ordination years living in both Stradbally and Kilkenny. And on the wider world stage we all think so much as I write of the tensions emanating from the Korean Peninsula. This is a part of the world so familiar to Dean Paul Mooney and his family, and where he has served with skill and much courage. May the peoples of Korea somehow be showered with the blessings of peace.

Again, warm wishes and prayers for the autumnal hyperactivity,