Anger at decision to close Catholic church parish office

A PARISHONER has hit out at the removal of a parish office in Newtownbutler
The Catholic parishioner, who wished not to be named, wrote a letter to the Herald voicing their annoyance at the decision to remove the local parish office and operate from a pastoral area instead.
In August, the Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Clogher, Monsignor Joseph McGuinness announced the annual diocesan changes for 2018. The announcement ses the Parishes of Clones, Killeevan-Currin-Aghabog, Roslea, Newtownbutler, Lisnaskea and Maguiresbridge being operated as the West Monaghan/East Fermanagh Pastoral Area.
This has resulted in the Newtownbutler and Donagh parish office being relocated to Lisnaskea as Fr Jimmy McPhillips, the parish priest is responsible for administration.
The move has sparked anger because recently the Church of Immaculate Conception in Newtownbutler was restored and a new extension was erected including a parish office.
Parishioners believed that the new office would be used for years to come.
In the letter, the parishioner said “we understand there is a chronic shortage of priests at this time. Yes we understand there have to be changes made but why should the ‘powers that be’ decide to close a functioning fully equipped office in our parish and move the services to Lisnaskea.
Are we the parishioners of Galloon Parish expected to finance this move?”
The parishioner also claimed that the news was sprung upon the local people without notice or consultation.
“Newtownbutler and Donagh parish is a rural area. Our parish office is a point of contact for many. Not everyone can or will go down to Lisnaskea to conduct their business. Not everyone drives or has Internet in their homes.”
When approached about the letter from the concerned parishioner, a spokesman for the Clogher Diocese said,
“Providing for an efficient and responsive administration service is something parishes will continue to deliver in a collaborative way at local level. Already, a number of parishes across the diocese are sharing resources in this respect, by local arrangement.”

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