Lesson from church and diocese history


I came across a Church Directory which was published in 1921 (90 years ago) and it lists all the parishes and clergy of the dioceses of Ireland. Cork and Ross were listed separately, then, and without counting any priests who belonged to religious orders or missionary societies, there were 174 priests in service in the dioceses. The current equivalent number in 2011 is 105.
In 1921, there were three priests serving in this parish: Fr. Patrick O’Connell, PP; Fr. William O’Regan, CC and Fr. Florence O’Mahony CC.
The population of Co Cork in 1926 was 365,747 and in the 2011 Census it’s now 518,128 — an increase of 142%. That makes for a huge challenge for us all as Church: Most of the population stills wants to be baptised in, make First Holy Communion in, be Confirmed in, and be buried from our churches — and the population has grown by over 40% in that time. But, we now have to try and provide those services, and more, with 40% less priests.

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