By Ann Marie Foley - 15 June, 2017
Monsignor Hugh Connolly of the Diocese of Dromore has been appointed as Chaplain to the Irish College in Paris. He will take up his new post on 1 September and succeeds Fr Dwayne Gavin of the Diocese of Meath.
Monsignor Connolly, the outgoing President of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, is a fluent French speaker and had served on the Fondation Irlandaise, the Governing Body of the College des Irlandais, for ten years until 2007.
Monsignor Connolly’s pastoral duties will include ministering to the Irish Community in Paris, liaising with the staff of the Centre Culturel Irlandais, assisting at the local parish of Saint Etienne du Mont and occasional lecturing at one of the theology faculties in Paris.
The announcement came yesterday (14 June) at the end of the Summer 2017 General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference at the Columba Centre, Maynooth.
The bishops also appointed Fr Chris Hayden CC, Parish of Coolfancy in the Diocese of Ferns, as the new editor of Intercom, the pastoral and liturgical resource magazine of the Bishops’ Conference.
Fr Hayden succeeds Fr Paul Clayton-Lea of the Archdiocese of Armagh. The bishops wished Fr Hayden well in his role and thanked Fr Clayton-Lea for the vision and quality of content that he provided for Intercom during his tenure as editor.
The bishops announced that the National Vocations Office of the Irish Bishops’ Conference will officially open on 1 July. The Reverend Eric Cooney, a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Dublin, has been appointed as administrator of this new office, which will be based in the Columba Centre. The National Vocations Office will oversee and coordinate the work of training diocesan vocations directors and the promotion of vocations to the priesthood.
The bishops offered prayers for those who have died, for the injured and for the emergency services who responded to the scene of the fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London. They remembered the victims and their families at Mass, as well as those who have died in recent terrorist attacks in Britain, and assured all those affected of the prayerful solidarity of the faithful across Ireland.
During October 2018 Pope Francis will host a Synod of Bishops on the theme “Youth, faith and vocational discernment”. The bishops discussed preparations for what will be the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and welcomed the initiative to maximise the opportunity for young people around the world to be involved in the preparation for the 2018 Synod of Bishops.
A number of youth directors throughout the country have already undertaken a web-based consultation with young people to complement other local diocesan youth initiatives. The bishops recognise that this is an important time for a review of youth ministry throughout Ireland.
Mr Éamonn Meehan, director of Trócaire, updated the bishops on east Africa (South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya), where over 24 million people are now facing malnutrition and extreme hunger. Mr Meehan said that Trócaire is deeply concerned for the deteriorating health and well-being of the people in east Africa who have been struggling and failing to grow food in the face of conflict and drought.
Trócaire is responding to this crisis by providing food, water, purification tablets and other vital life-saving aids to support families in need. In addition, Trócaire’s health centres in Somalia are providing food and health support to malnourished children. Across Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan it is providing high-energy food and other much-needed support to hundreds of thousands of people facing hunger.