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New initiative to attract more priests as former councillor joins priesthood


THE Diocese of Killaloe has kicked off a year-long scheme to encourage men to consider joining the priesthood.

Senior members of the diocese will visit local parishes including in Limerick, next weekend, with Castleconnell to also to get a visit next month.

Currently, only half of the parishes in the diocese are served by a resident priest.

But in the last 12 months, three people have decided to consider joining the priesthood.

That's according to vocations director, Fr Iggy McCormack, who said: “Geographically, we are the third largest diocese in the country and it has become increasingly difficult to maintain full cover across the five counties due to retirements and a lower number of vocations.”

He said the idea of young men taking up a vocation has arguably become “more counter-cultural” in recent years.

“We are very hopeful that we can build on recent progress whereby three men from the diocese will enter the seminary at Maynooth over the next 12 months.”

Fr McCormack hopes the vocations initiative will encourage people to discover more about vocations on the diocesan website while the parish church visits are aimed at kick starting conversations within family groups, with local priests and in communities across the diocese on the vocation of priesthood.

“Most newly ordained priests will comment on how the encouragement and counsel they received from their local priest greatly assisted in commencing their journey to priestly ministry,” he said.

Former Clare councillor Mark Nestor is one of the three men who has left day-to-day life for the priesthood over the past 12 months.

“Answering yes to my vocation to the priesthood has resulted in a great sense of contentment in my life,” he said.