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Bishop Duffy welcomes Clogher’s vocations as a sign of hope

By Sarah Mac Donald - 09 October, 2019

Young seminarians humble themselves before their ordination to the priesthood.

The Diocese of Clogher has announced good news on the vocations front with two men beginning their studies for the priesthood this autumn and a third embarking on training for the permanent diaconate.

In a statement, Bishop Larry Duffy said the three men, through their positive responses, “offer us a sign of hope”.

He said he prayed that many more men would answer the call to priesthood and the diaconate, and that many more would hear God’s call to serve the Church in various forms of lay ministry and religious life, “courageously following the way that Jesus is putting before them.”

The Bishop of Clogher also thanked those who continue to work for vocations at diocesan level and those who assist the work of St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society.

The two student priests are Stephen Sherry from Tullycorbet parish, who has begun academic studies and formation at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and Matthew Newell from Clones parish who has commenced his propaedeutic programme at the English College of St Alban at Valladolid in Spain.

In addition, Paul Flynn, Choir Director at St Michael’s Parish, Enniskillen, is also progressing his studies and formation for the permanent diaconate in Clogher.

Born in Dublin, Mr Flynn also assists in the Lisnaskea-Maguiresbridge/Newtownbutler-Donagh parishes, and is undertaking his studies alongside others through a programme for the diaconate organised by the Diocese of Down and Connor.

The Diocese of Clogher encompasses all of Co Monaghan, most of Fermanagh and portions of Tyrone, Donegal, Louth and Cavan. It has a Catholic population of 88,000 across 37 parishes, which are served by 58 priests and one deacon. There are 85 churches in the diocese.

Sunday 20 October marks Mission Sunday when the Church reflects on mission and its meaning today. The theme of this year’s Mission Sunday is ‘Together We Are Mission’.

In its statement, the Diocese of Clogher said that traditionally, mission meant priests and nuns going to mission lands to spread the faith. Acknowledging that this is still an important part of the Church’s missionary work, the diocese underlined that today the mission of the Church is also “at home in our own place – and in our own hearts”.

“Each of us, priests, deacons, religious and lay, are called to be witnesses and to answer the call to live out our vocation,” the dicoese emphasised.

In recent years several African priests have come to Clogher diocese to help out, including Fr Nicholas Maanzo, who is presently ministering in the parishes of the mid-Monaghan Pastoral Area.

Pope Francis, in his message for Vocations Sunday earlier this year, mentioned that “every vocation is a summons not to stand on the shore, nets in hand, but to follow Jesus on the path he has marked out for us, for our own happiness and the good of those around us.”

People in Clogher’s parishes are being asked to pray for vocations throughout the month of October and in the months ahead. A prayer for vocations has been written for this and is being circulated to parishes.


God our Father,
you call us by name
and ask us to follow you.
Help us to grow in the love
and service of our Church today.

Grant us the courage to
embrace Christ’s mission of love and justice.

Bless the Church of Clogher by raising up dedicated and generous leaders
from our families and friends;
people who will serve your people as
priests, sisters, brothers, deacons and lay ministers.

Bless those who have already answered your call
and who are now preparing to serve your people as
priests and deacons.

Inspire us to know you better
and open our hearts
to hear your call.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Anyone interested in discussing priesthood or the diaconate in Clogher is asked to contact the Clogher Diocesan Director of Vocations, Fr Raymond Donnelly. Tel. 028-66322075; Email: [email protected]

More information can be found on www.vocations.ie

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