DUNMORE / GLENAMADDY / KILKERRIN-CLONBERNE / WILLIAMSTOWN CLUSTER
In April 2009, the Tuam Archdiocese, following consultation with all the pastoral councils, produced a report called “Proposals for the future serving of the parishes in the Archdiocese of Tuam”. This report was compiled in response to the growing crisis facing the Church because of the diminishing number of priests. The 55 parishes have been grouped into 15 clusters. Our cluster consists of Glenamaddy, Dunmore, Williamstown and Kilkerrin-Clonberne; 4 parishes, 7 Churches and 4 priests. It`s not a lifetime ago since there were 9 or 10 priests in this same area. And, undoubtedly, in the not so distant future, we will be reduced to 3.
Each cluster must decide what its own priorities are. The clusters are all different: urban and rural: huge geographical areas and quite compact areas; some with 3 parishes, others with 5. Just as the clusters themselves are all different, so are their needs. A number of the clusters have moved forward quickly in response to the needs of their area. They have put baptismal and funeral teams in place to assist the overworked priests. Others, like ours, are in their infancy.
The officers of our cluster are: Chairperson: P.J. Rabbitte, Clonberne; Vice Chairperson: Padraig Keady, Glenamaddy; Secretary: Breda Keaveney, Glenamaddy; Assistant Secretary: Annette O`Rourke, Kilkerrin; Treasurer: John Meehan, Kilkerrin; P.R.O.: Nancy Lyons, Clonberne; Delegates to Dioscesan meetings: James Donnellan, Dunmore and Michael Jennings, Williamstown.
Fr. Pat Farragher attended a meeting in November. He came to facilitate the cluster to prioritise its needs and to put a plan in place to meet the needs of the future.
- Raising awareness of the cluster, throughout the 4 parishes is a priority.
- Arranging weekend Mass times so that people will be able to get to Mass within the cluster and so the priests can cover for each other in an emergency is another area we have worked on.
- Setting up Baptismal teams is also on the cards. These teams will be trained to work with couples preparing for their child`s Baptism. Training for these will take place in October.
Raising awareness among the people of the 4 parishes was our first step. During the year we have worked at this. Mass times in each of the 7 churches appear in each Parish newsletter, as well as phone numbers for the priests. Now and again the priests “exchange pulpits”. This is in an effort to let people see the cluster as an extension of the parish.
All the changes will come by degrees and in consultation with the people. There is no long term plan. It will evolve as the needs arise. But 2 things are definite: there will have to be changes and more people will have to get involved in the various Church ministries.
On Tuesday May 22nd, at 8.00 pm, in St. Joseph`s Church, Kilkerrin we are launching a brochure, which will be distributed to every house in the cluster area. This colourful production gives information on Churches, priests, Mass times, newsletters etc.
Dunmore Church choir will provide the music and singing; Gerry Glennon of Mid-West Radio will be the guest speaker and the brochure will be launched at the end of Mass by Fr. Pat Farragher. Afterwards everyone is invited for refreshments in The Pastoral Centre, adjoining the church.
Our motto is : WORKING TOGETHER. Our logo is: 4 cogs fitting together. These symbolise what our 4 parishes will be doing into the future.