Clergy from across the diocese have been saying their goodbyes to parishioners following the announcement of the annual clerical changes at the weekend. As priests informed their congregations of the changes which take effect from this Friday, several local priests received a round of applause from Mass- goers and there were even a few tears.
Three of the diocese’s most senior priests, Fr. Brian McGoldrick, PP Urney and Castlefin, Fr. James McGonagle, PP Culdaff and Vicar Forane for the Inishowen Deanery and Fr. George Doherty as CC Desertegney and Lower Fahan are to retire from ministry after all serving more than 50 years as priests.
In the Waterside Parish Fr. Roland Colhoun, CC Glendermott and CC Strathfoyle is to become CC Badoney Upper and CC Ardstraw East (Newtownstewart). He will be replaced by the newly ordained Fr. Seán O’Donnell from Muff.
Father Edward Gallagher ADM Long Tower Parish, is to become Parish Priest in Greencastle. Father Fr. Eamon Graham who is currently the Parish Priest in Banagher takes over the reins as Administrator of the Long Tower Church.
Fr. Patrick Baker who is Parish Priest in Lavey (Termoneeny) is to move to become Parish Priest in Banagher. Fr. Eugene Hasson, PP Greencastle is to transfer as PP Lavey (Termoneeny) and PP Greenlough; Fr. Brian Brady, PP Errigal, to be PP Clonmany and PP Culdaff, residing in Clonmany, as well as Vicar Forane for the Inishowen Deanery;
Fr. Brian Donnelly, PP Badoney Upper, to be, in addition, PP Ardstraw East (Newtownstewart); Fr. Peter Madden, PP Desertmartin, to be, in addition, PP Ballinascreen; Fr. Seamus Kelly, PP Ballinascreen, to be PP Dungiven; Fr. Fintan Diggin, PP Clonmany, to be PP Errigal; Fr. Michael Porter, PP Leckpatrick, to be PP Urney and Castlefin; Fr. Gerard Sweeney, PP Ardstraw East (Newtownstewart), to be PP Leckpatrick; Fr. Aidan Mullan, PP Dungiven, to retire as Parish Priest and become CC Three Patrons; Fr. Oliver Crilly, PP Greenlough, to retire as Parish Priest and become Priest-in-Residence Urney and Castlefin; Fr. Paul Fraser is to be CC Creggan; Fr. Dermott Harkin, CC Ardstraw West and Castlederg, to be CC Lavey and CC Greenlough, Fr. James McGrory, to be CC Clonmany and CC Culdaff, residing in Culdaff; Fr. Francis Lynch OP to be CC Ballinascreen and CC Desertmartin.