On September 12th last Archbishop Dermot Farrell appointed Father Samuel Akaguenyi Chinedu to the Lucan grouping of parishes. He replaces Father Dominic Kwikiriza from Uganda who has been transferred to Beaumont Parish.
We wish Father Dominic every happiness in his new appointment and thank him for his ministry among us. His gentle tone and thoughtful homilies were appreciated by many people. We will miss him.
Father Samuel is a diocesan Priest of the diocese of Nnewi in Nigeria. He was ordained to the priesthood two years ago and after a two-year parish appointment has been sent by his Bishop to study at Maynooth. He is pursuing post-graduate studies in pastoral ministry with an emphasis on healthcare chaplaincy. As well as studying at Maynooth he has a two-day placement each week at Tallaght Hospital where he will gain hands-on experience. We welcome Fr. Samuel to the three parishes and hope that he will be happy among us for the next few years.
Lucan now enjoys the ministry of three African priests. In Lucan South Father Ubaldo Muhindo from Uganda is responsible for the parish, and in St. Patrick’s Fr. Pius Faruna from Nigeria, who is also in Ireland to study at Maynooth, assists Father John Hassett.
At a time when vocations are at an all-time low in Ireland we are blessed indeed to have the ministry of these men among us. Our diocese will struggle in the coming years to meet the needs of the parishes. The average age of the Dublin clergy is almost 70, and with virtually no students for the diocese the future is bleak. Ireland was for centuries a missionary country sending priests and religious to many parts of the world, these men and women went as strangers to foreign lands and were welcomed and embraced. In many places they enjoyed great success and laid the foundations for a strong local church.
Shakespeare said ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men’ and while the tide of Vocations has indeed gone out in Ireland, on other shores that tide is full and rich and abundant and we are blessed to benefit here. We can only hope and pray that the tide will turn again in our direction.
St. Mary’s Lucan