Priest shortage leads to Mass every other week

Sun 21 Oct 2018
By Marcus Jones

Parishioners in two Northern Ireland towns have been told they can only celebrate Sunday Mass at their church every other week.

Despite Sunday worship taking place at the Catholic Church in Boho in County Fermanagh for more than 1,500 years, a shortage of priests means the congregation now needs to join with the Immaculate Conception Church in nearby Monea.

The problem there is the church is too small for both combinations. The first joint service saw people standing outside.

 

Parishioners have warned that the move will lead to people drifting away from church.

Over 400 people have signed a petition asking for their weekend Masses to be reinstated.

Defending the changes to the BBC, Monsignor Joseph McGuinness from the Diocese of Clogher, said: "It's understandable that some people will find this very difficult and there will in some cases be almost a great sense of loss to people that the kinds of celebrations that there were in their churches previously may no longer be possible.

"Given the fewer number of priests, the convenient Mass may not necessarily be in their own parish, it may be within a church elsewhere in the area.

"However, we have to look again at the opportunities that this presents to us to do things in a different way, but in a way that keeps our churches alive as places of praise and worship."

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