Faith Matters

Father John Coughlan appointed Director of Formation at the Pontifical Irish College, Rome

The Pontifical Irish College in Rome

FATHER John Coughlan has been appointed Director of Formation at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome.

A curate at St Joseph's Parish, Boyle, in the Diocese of Elphin, he will take up his new role next summer. He will remain in Boyle in the interim, before going to Rome to take up his new responsibilities.

Fr Coughlan is a native of Riverstown Parish in Elphin Diocese. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2008 following seven years of formation at St Patrick's College, Maynooth. He has previously served as chaplain at Sligo IT and as curate in Athlone and is currently a member of the Diocesan Vocations Team.

His new mission will see him take a share in the responsibility of helping young men from all over Ireland to prepare themselves for the priesthood.

Founded in 1628, the Pontifical Irish College in Rome, is home to three communities: An Irish seminarian community, an American seminarian community and an international postgraduate community. In total there are 60 residents at the Irish College while four Irish diocesan priests make up the staff.

Announcing the appointment, Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran said the Pontifical Irish College had played a very significant role in the history of the Irish Church.

"Fr Coughlan's appointment is our way of saying that the Diocese of Elphin believes in the future of the priesthood," Bishop Doran said.

"We hope that, in the coming years, we will be able to send seminarians both to the Irish College and to Maynooth. I will be happy to meet any single man from the age of 18 upwards who is on a journey of faith and who is open to considering the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood in the Diocese of Elphin. It is a decision I made myself almost 50 years ago and one which I have never regretted."

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