Here is a window of insight to a future that will bring great change – for both Priest and laity.
In seven years time there will be only 47 unretired clergy (under 75) to serve 46 parishes in the archdiocese of Cashel & Emly.
In twenty years time there will be less than 20 clergy under the age of 75 to staff whatever parishes or clusters of parishes that are then in existence.
A huge change of mindset is required by priests and people to embrace a change in parish as we know it.
At present we have only one seminarian preparing for priesthood.
Between the ages of 25 and 44 there is only one priest! There are only 14 curates in all throughout the archdiocese.
A stark reality indeed. A new pastoral plan and approach is required.
We must read the signs of the times and take on board the changes that are coming down the road much faster than we might want to know.