New proposals for amalgamation of four south Armagh parishes

March 3, 2009

New proposals for the re-structuring of the Archdiocese of Armagh into a system of amalgamated parishes has been published, with four south Armagh parishes being made into one entity. 

Under the new system, Crossmaglen, Cullyhanna, Mullaghbawn and Dromintee will be united in a single parochial entity, marking the first major boundary changes in two hundred years.

The proposed moves are seen as essential in the light of the shortage of priests here and across Ireland and in a situation that is getting worse by the year.

There are eleven chapels in these four parishes, Crossmaglen, Sheelagh, Glassdrummond, Cullyhanna, Dorsey, Newtownhamilton., Mullaghbawn, Forkhill, Aughanduff, Dromintee and Jonesboro.

A major problem will be the question  of Sunday Masses in each of the churches as well as new liturgical arrangements. There will also be a problem of fundraising which is traditionally confined to the current parish system and closely related to Sunday  Mass collections.

The decision of which priest will run the new parish block and how many priests will be required is still further down the line but this and other problems, such as a new name, will have to be sorted out as parishioners and clergy get down to serious discussions.