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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

New Dean of Raphoe

History has been made as the Diocese of Derry & Raphoe has appointed its first female Dean.

The Revd Liz Fitzgerald is to be Rector of the grouped parishes of Raphoe, Raymochy & Clonleigh and Dean of Raphoe in St Eunan’s cathedral. News of the appointment, by the Bishop of Derry & Raphoe, the Rt Rev Andrew Forster, was announced on Sunday at services in the Raphoe group of churches and in Ms Fitzgerald’s current parishes of Gweedore, Carrickfinn & Templecrone. A native of Omagh, Ms Fitzgerald will succeed Canon Arthur Barrett who is now Rector of the Arklow group of parishes in Co. Wicklow.  

St Eunan’s has a long and distinguished history. The church is 800 years old and people have prayed on the site for 1,400 years.  A date has yet to be finalised for Ms Fitzgerald’s institution as Rector and installation as Dean. However,  St Eunan’s Day is the 23rd of September and so would be an appropriate date.   Bishop Forster has congratulated Ms Fitzgerald on her appointment and thanked her for her ministry in the Gweedore. “On behalf of the Diocese, I wish to express my gratitude to Liz for her generous and faith–filled witness in Gweedore, Carrickfinn and Templecrone. She is a gifted priest and pastor, and will share those gifts with her new parishioners in Raphoe, Raymochy and Clonleigh. I trust that parishioners in Raphoe, Manorcunningham and Lifford will welcome Liz warmly and offer her their prayers and support.”

Today (Saturday) at 12.30pm in St Andrew’s church, Dunmore East, there will be a service for past pupils of Bishop Foy’s School, Waterford. The school was founded in 1707 by Nathaniel Foy, Bishop of Waterford & Lismore.

Tomorrow (Sunday) will be celebrated as Sea Sunday worldwide, when seafarers of all nationalities and their families will be remembered . The Seafarers’ Centre in Dublin Port will be open from 1pm until 5pm, with a short service celebrated by the Dublin Honorary Port Chaplain, the Revd Willie Black, at 4pm.  The Belfast chaplain is now the Revd Mark Reid.

On Tuesday afternoon the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, will visit Shelton Abbey Open Centre Open Day.

Summer Music at Sandford continues in Sandford parish church, Ranelagh, on Friday, at 1.10pm, when the guitar duo of Luke Tobin and Gerard Boyle will play arrangements for two guitars from Bach and Handel to Granados and Jarc. At 7.30pm in St Mary’s church, Carlow, the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory, the Rt Revd Adrian Wilkinson, will institute the Revd Paul Fitzpatrick as Rector of the Carlow union of parishes. Mr Fitzpatrick, who was ordained in 1983, has been Dean’s Vicar in the Nenagh and Killaloe union of parishes since 2022.

The trustees of St James’s Church, Crinken, Co. Dublin, have announced the appointment of their new minister. Following a comprehensive and detailed interview process, the Revd Tom O’Brien has been appointed minister in succession to the Revd Trevor Stevenson who retired earlier this year. Mr O’Brien brings with him a depth of experience having held senior positions within the HSE as well as from his time serving as a self supporting minister since his ordination in 2018. He has served in a number of parishes in Dublin & Glendalough including in Howth as Deacon Intern and then in Holmpatrick (Skerries) and has provided cover in Kill O’ the Grange and Raheny & Coolock.  His ministry in Crinken will begin in September.

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