Indian priests to address diocesan shortage

FOUR priests from India are to be appointed to address a shortage of priests in the Archdiocese of Tuam and the increasing age of the clerical population.

The new clerics and the parishes to which they will be assigned are expected to be named in the next round of diocesan appointments due later in the year.

Asked yesterday by The Connaught Telegraph about Indian priests being appointed, Fr. Francis Mitchell, diocesan secretary, replied: “That will be announced when clerical changes are announced.”

Although Fr. Mitchell declined to elaborate, a diocesan source told this paper that hard decisions about bringing in international clergy have to be made in response to a growing clerical shortage.

There is an over-supply of Catholic priests in India at the moment and they are available to help out here,” the source explained.

Apart from Tuam, other dioceses are bringing in priests from India in a bid to tackle the issue of retirements and a drop in vocations.

The Bishop of Killaloe, Dr. Fintan Monaghan, former diocesan secretary in Tuam, says the increasing number of international priests now ministering here is a kind of reversal in many ways of the trend of Irish priests going abroad as missionaries.

It is an indication of the changing times in Ireland because we are badly stuck for priests and now we’re looking to the African and Indian continent to help us in that regard”, Dr. Monaghan told the Irish Catholic newspaper.


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