Today I wish to let you all know that I am retiring from active Priestly ministry here in this Parish.  In May I reached the age of seventy-five years and in June the fifty-first anniversary of my Ordination to the Priesthood:  I will have completed fifty-one years of service to the Diocese, in July, so it is time ‘to hang up the boots’!

I have been blessed to have served so many years, and I am grateful to God and to many people like yourselves who have supported me during that time.  Today I want to thank you for your love, care and support over the last ten years. I have learned so much as we have tried to work together to grow and develop our Parish and move from Maintenance to Mission. It’s been a gift from God to have walked with you over these last ten years. Lots of new initiatives are now in place – the vision, the structures – so I am confident that with the grace of God the Parish will continue to grow and develop, and find and develop better ways
of bringing Jesus Christ to others. I hope that you will continue to give your Parish your full support.

I regret that I am unable to give you the name of the new Priest who is replacing me; I am waiting for the Bishop to give us his name. This should be clarified shortly. I will be returning to Ireland to live in retirement near my family. I plan to leave the Parish early in August.  I leave with a sense of regret and sadness as I have loved being here, and have felt that I have been truly blessed to be part of this great Parish community.  I shall continue to remember, and to pray for you.

Fr John