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Shake-up as average age of priests here stands at 68

Monsignor Joseph McGuinness

CLERICAL changes are expected in the Clogher Diocese in the coming weeks.
Just last week the Diocese of Clogher dismissed suggestions that two of the biggest Catholic parishes in the county were to merge due to a shortage of priests.
It followed reports that the ageing profile within the priesthood could force the parishes of Galloon, which covers Donagh and Newtownbutler, to join forces with Aghalurcher, which takes in Lisnaskea and Maguiresbridge
The Herald understands that the annual diocesan changes will be announced shortly.
Parishioners are expecting a letter from the Monsignor Joe McGuinness, the diocese administrator, in the next two weeks, outlining the changes that will be made for the coming year.
It looks certain the letter will highlight the need for change in the diocese, particularly with the need for personnel.
There are likely to be several changes this year when you consider the diocese has had three priests who have died, and another handful have reached retirement age.
The average age of a practicing priest in the diocese is believed to be 68 years, but taking in retired clergymen the average age is thought to be considerably older
It looks as though there will be a greater need for priests in the diocese this year. With only one new priest ordained to the diocese in the past 12 months and a deacon, the diocese looks likely to have to make changes to ensure parishes are covered.
In recent times some parishes in Fermanagh have seen fewer Sunday Masses to take account of the reduced numbers of priests.
With a Catholic population of 88,000 across 37 parishes served by just 63 priests, it looks certain that some priests will be on the move in the Clogher Diocese in the next few weeks.


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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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