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Major changes ahead for Kerry Diocese

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The Diocese of Kerry is introducing a new ministry as a response to the changing needs of parish communities.

Training for the new Ministry of the Lay Pastoral Leader will begin in September and it's expected that there will be a team of volunteer lay pastoral leaders working in each pastoral area over the coming five years.

The lay pastoral leaders will work alongside the clergy parish councils and pastoral councils. Their role will be to lead, co-ordinate and support different aspects of parish life. The diocese is offering people the opportunity to express interest in the role and explore the commitment and training involved at this time.

The need for Lay Pastoral Leaders has resulted as parish life has changed greatly with one obvious change that there are fewer priests.

In the future, parishes will be served by a team of clergy and lay pastoral leaders working together as a team.

The ministry includes coordinating, leading and supporting pastoral activities in the local area. It will involve taking responsibility for some ministries traditionally carried out by priests. This new ministry will complement the ministry of the deacon and the priest.

The role

The role of the lay pastoral leader is to coordinate and take responsibility for a particular aspect of ministry, in response to local needs.

Possible ministries will be; Preparation for Sacraments – Nurturing the relationship between home, school and parish; Coordination of initiatives to support families presenting their children to receive sacraments; Pastoral Care – coordinating visitation of the housebound/elderly/those in nursing homes; Supporting nursing home staff and residents to celebrate moments of prayer; Liturgy - coordinating the various liturgical ministries that enliven Sunday celebrations of Mass; Faith formation - exploring faith with adults, facilitating opportunities for prayer and exploring the Word of God; Youth Ministry – ensuring that youth and young people are supported, valued and enabled to reach their God-created potential.

The training will include: Personal and spiritual development [Prayer, mentoring and retreat days], Pastoral Ministry [Placement and training in ministry], Modules in Pastoral Theology [Mary Immaculate College Certificate in Pastoral Ministry, Level 6], Leadership [developing skills and working as part of a team].

The formation will be delivered through a blend of online modules and face-to-face gatherings which will take place at a location in the Diocese of Kerry.

The role could suit someone who works well with others and can commit to three to four hours per week as a volunteer lay Pastoral Leader over the coming five years.

“I warmly welcome the Ministry of Lay Pastoral Leadership that we embark upon," Bishop Ray Browne said. "The future church will be different, not better or worse!”

People already involved in parish or community activity, who have initiative and energy, and who want to work in their local pastoral area, are encouraged to apply.

"Candidates are invited to complete an expression of interest form available on the diocesan website, and participate in gatherings during the month of May to explore the role,” Frances Rowland, Diocesan Pastoral Team, said.

For more information visit: www.dioceseofkerry.ie.

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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