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Turn to Jesus (Article)

No New Novitiate Class in Ireland
Legionaries will continue all other ministries with Fr Anthony Bannon as the community superior.

ireland novitiate
The entrance to the former novitiate in Dublin.

July 20, 2011. Dublin, Ireland. As of this September, the Legionary novitiate in Dublin will no longer be accepting new novices, and those currently in Dublin will be transferred to the Legion’s other novitiates around the world.

In a July 15 letter to the Legionaries and consecrated members in central and western Europe, Fr Sylvester Heereman, the territorial director, stated, “The reasons which have brought about this painful decision are the scarcity of Irish vocations in recent decades, combined with the current difficulty of maintaining the novitiate with vocations from other countries, as well as the consolidation of efforts and resources that we are implementing throughout the world.”

The facilities will continue to be used as a center for the Legionary priests and religious who minister in parishes and to youth and families through the Faith and Family Centre in Blackrock, the Clonlost Youth Retreat Centre in Killiney, and two secondary boarding schools for foreign students in Wicklow, all of which are committed to the National Child Safeguarding standards of Ireland. Fr Anthony Bannon has been appointed as the new superior of the Dublin community.

In his letter, Fr Sylvester added, “We retain the hope that in the future God may grant us numerous Irish vocations and the possibility of training novices in this country which has provided so many and such exemplary vocations over the centuries. We will make every effort to maintain and foster our evangelical work in those lands where the Church is experiencing very great difficulties.”

Founded in 1961, the Irish Novitiate of the Legionaries of Christ counts among its alumni more than 50 Irish Legionary priests active in ministry in 10 countries, as well as many diocesan priests dedicated to ministry in Ireland and abroad.



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