A Priest-Less Parish – Opportunity or Threat?


With the fall in the number of priests and religious in Ireland looking set to continue the challenges facing the Irish Catholic Church, with 1,360 parishes and 2,640 churches, is at crisis point. Yet Irish people continue to value their faith and are willing to share in the responsibility of ministry in the Church. Can the Synodal journey in Ireland empower lay people to take more responsibility for leading parish ministry? If increasing lay participation is the goal what practical steps can help fast track this?

We Need to Talk 4 took place on 11th May 7-9pm.

To View the Session – view the recording below.

click – HERE

Speakers Bio – See Below


Dr. Eugene Duffy

Fr Eugene Duffy is a priest of the Diocese of Achonry and Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Renewal and Development. He has taught theology at All Hallows College, Dublin, ATU Galway and Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. He has lectured and worked extensively in Ireland and abroad on pastoral renewal and development programmes. He is a co-convenor of the Peter and Paul Seminar, an international group of theologians exploring aspects of ecclesial renewal in the light of Vatican II and with a view to Church unity.

Frances Rowland

Frances Rowland is a pastoral development worker for the Diocese of Kerry. Her areas of interest are adult faith development, spirituality and liturgy. She is presently co-ordinating the diocesan formation programme for lay pastoral leaders, in conjunction with Mary Immaculate College.


 Sr. Padraigin McKenna O.P.

‘I am a Dominican Sister originally form Ballymena. I taught in Ireland for many years before volunteering to go as a missionary to Brazil in 1994. I worked in the Diocese of Registro, one of the poorest areas in the state of Saõ Paulo. We believed that ‘we are the Church’ whose option was for these same forgotten and suffering people. It was a living and vibrant Church where faith and prayer, basic Christian Communities; campaigns for social issues and hope for a better future were evident. This would be my dream for the forthcoming Synod that as a result of our prayers, faith and study, we too would form a similar church, the church that Jesus would wish us to live.’