News archive 2005

Official opening of the Kilmore Diocesan Pastoral Centre A New Venue for Spiritual and Personal Development


10 FEBRUARY 2005



A major milestone in the history of the Diocese of Kilmore will be reached
next Sunday with the official opening of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, which
is located in the former boarding wing of St. Patrick’s College, Cavan.

The Bishop of Kilmore Dr. Leo O’Reilly will officiate at an ecumenical
service to mark the official opening of the centre on Sunday. Invited
guests include Dr Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All
Ireland and Dr. Francis McKiernan the retired Bishop of Kilmore. The
keynote speaker at the opening reception will be Mr Ronan Mullen the
religious affairs correspondent of the Irish Examiner newspaper.

In October 2000 the Kilmore Diocesan Congress took place and a call
was made at this congress for the setting up of a Pastoral Centre.
In 1995 an option for pastoral renewal was taken by the Diocese of
Kilmore. Boarding had ended in St. Patrick’s College in June 2000
and it was decided to establish this centre in the recently vacated
boarding wing. Renovation work began on the 23rd of June, 2003. The
Architect for the project was Philip Brady the main contractor AEC
and the sub-contractors Martin Walshe Plumbing and Adair Electrics
from Banbridge.

The centre has been in operation since January 2004 and has already
become a major venue in the Cavan area for meetings, conferences and
educational courses. Renovation work on the building, however, has
only just been completed over the past few months and Sunday’s event
signals the availability of a now fully operational facility.

Commenting on the Pastoral Centre, Fr Gerry Kearns, Director said:
“The centre aims to be a place of welcome for all, an oasis of
Christian spirituality, education and growth in the diocese. Over
the past year it has been a venue for many varied and interesting
events. The first major event to be held in the new conference room
was a leadership training weekend last January which was attended
by 28 people from Counties Cavan, Meath and Leitrim. Since then
the Pastoral Centre has hosted a number of days of reflection and
formation for Eucharistic ministers, school retreats, retreats for
adults, spiritual direction, Accord pre-marriage courses, Faith
Friends and Gift programmes for young people from 7 to 16 years
of age, liturgy workshop’s, priest’s conferences and numerous
meetings of diocesan commissions.

“One of the main functions of the Centre will be to empower people
to bring the Christian message to others and to give people the
confidence to be strong and compassionate witnesses to Christian
hope and love in a challenging and often dispiriting world.”

Further information:
Fr Gerry Kearns Director Pastoral Centre (049 4375004)
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)

* The website address of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre is:
* Pastoral Centre Team: The Pastoral Centre is administered by the director
Fr. Gerry Kearns, and the secretary Claire Gilcreest. The team also includes
Fr. Michael Router who is the director of Adult Faith Formation and Pastoral
Development and Sr. Suzie Duffy who is involved in Youth Ministry in the
* Pastotral Centre Facilities: The past two years has seen a major overhaul
of the old wing of St. Patrick’s College. The top floor was completed between
June and September 2003 and is presently occupied by the Cavan College of
Further Studies providing classrooms and office-space for over 300 staff
and students. The bottom two floors and Chapel constitute the new Kilmore
Diocesan Pastoral Centre. The Centre’s 14 superbly appointed meeting rooms
have been particularly popular as they provide comfortable meeting space
at very reasonable prices. These meeting rooms vary in size and are suitable
for small and medium sized groups, with the largest rooms accommodating up
to 200 people. Rooms are available for rent by all groups as long as they
are not promoting values that are contrary to Christian ethics.
* What is a Pastoral Centre? Pastoral Centres have been established in many
dioceses around the world over the past thirty years and in a number of
dioceses in Ireland in the past decade. These Centres provide training
and resources to individuals and parishes as they strive to proclaim the
Christian message in a changing world. Many lay people are now involved,
along with their priests, in this mission and their skills and knowledge
need to be constantly developed and renewed. One of the main functions of
the Centre will be to empower people to bring the Christian message to
others and to give people the confidence to be strong and compassionate
witnesses to Christian hope and love in a challenging and often dispiriting
* The Kilmore Diocesan Synod, which was held in October 1834, was the
beginning of a period of great pastoral reform in the Diocese of Kilmore.  
Forty years later, in March 1874, as this period of reformation was coming
to an end, St Patrick’s College Cavan was opened as a seminary where
clerical students studied for the priesthood and lay students received
secondary education.  The College was designed by the well known architect,
William Hague, and the original building, the present day Pastoral Centre,
has remained virtually unchanged since then.                                     

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