Archbishop Michael Neary

  • The death has taken place of Fr John McCormack, the Parish Priest of Breaffy, Castlebar.

    He died last night in Cork.

    Speaking to Midwest News today the Archbishop of Tuam Dr Michael Neary paid a warm tribute to the late SMA father who had celebrated his golden jubilee in the priesthood, just three months ago.

    Having served as a priest across three continents, with his final thirteen years in Breaffy, Archbishop Neary extended his sympathy to Fr John’s family and the people of the parishes where he had served.

    A native of Roundfort, Fr John’s first missionary posting after his ordination was in Africa. He then served in the Philippines.

    After almost 30 years on the missions, Fr. John returned to Ireland and to his native Mayo.

    He administered in Irishtown, Moylough and Breaffy.


  • Priests and ministers of the Eucharist will wear face masks or coverings while distributing Communion, once Churches reopen later this month.

    Catholic bishops have issued their formal guidance to priests on the return to public celebration of Mass and the Sacraments, and the protocols parishes must put in place to ensure people can return safely.

    The framework document recommends priests and ministers of the Eucharist should wear a face covering while distributing Communion, and should sanitise their hands before and after Communion.

    Numbers attending Masses, Holy Communions and Confirmations will be tightly restricted in line with social distancing requirements of two metres, with holy water fonts in Churches being kept empty and hand sanitisers provided at all entrances and exits.

    The Archbishop of Tuam Dr Michael Neary says parishes are busy preparing to reopen churches from the 29th June, but says resuming public worship does not mean going back to where we were before the pandemic.

  • The death has taken place of Canon James Kelly.

    Canon Kelly was a native of Westport and was ordained into the priesthood in 1955.

    He passed away in the Ave Maria Nursing Home in Tooreen and was due to celebrate his 89th birthday later this month.

    Paying tribute to the late  Canon James Kelly, Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary says it has been a tough two weeks for the archdiocese.

    Archbishop Neary says central to Canon Kelly's life was the Eucharist.

  • Archbishop Michael Neary in his Pastoral letter published today for Holy Week says he is offering daily Mass for victims of COVID19, for healthcare workers, researchers developing a vaccine, and for all families.

    While Bishop John Fleming of Killala in his pastoral letter makes the point, that at the start of Lent, on Ash Wednesday we were reminded of our frailty and we were advised by Jesus in the Gospel not to parade our faith in public but rather “when you pray go to your private room.” How prophetic these words were then and how much they have become a reality in our lives five week later, he remarks.

    The Archbishop of Tuam explains that he is praying in particular for those on ventilators in ICU units and those at the frontline who are ministering to them.

    He says we are endeavouring to cope with the chilling challenge of Covid-19 and its consequences of death, disruption and disillusionment.  We are living through a very traumatic time not just for Ireland but for the whole world.  The results will be far-reaching in terms of physical, psychological, emotional health and the economy.

    Not being able to visit with our family and friends at Easter time is a huge sacrifice.  Thanks to modern technology and social media, however, we can still keep in touch.

    The events of the Middle East 2000 years ago provide us with a perspective on our present situation. Social distancing, closed doors and fear stalk the streets and the thoroughfares of cities across our world. 

    While Bishop John Fleming of Killala in his pastoral letter says great and genuine thanks has been expressed to so many at this time; doctors, nurses, carers, ambulance drivers, An Garda Síochána, neighbours, the HSE and so on.  Let me add one more; a sincere word of thanks to our priests who are always ready to continue their care for the sick and elderly, bury our dead with dignity and with prayer, offer faith and consolation to those who call on them, keep our churches open, where possible, celebrate Mass on their own and place themselves in danger of contracting this virus.



  • The cancellation of the 2020 Croagh Patrick pilgrimage was announced yesterday by the Administrator in Westport, Fr  Charlie McDonnell.

    The event has been cancelled due to public health concerns and the practicalities of adhering to social distancing rules during the climb.

    The decision was made after extensive consultation with the many groups that are involved in the annual event that attracts thousands of pilgrims each year, on the last Sunday in July.

    However, Archbishop Michael Neary will celebrate the vigil Mass in Westport on Saturday 25 July at 6:30 pm which will be offered for the intentions of all who intended to make the pilgrimage.  

    Prayer intentions can be emailed at any time to reek This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post to Westport Parish, Co Mayo. 

    The Mass will be live-streamed on the parish Facebook page ‘St Marys Church Westport’ which can be accessed on

    Archbishop Neary says “the National Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday is an important annual occasion for many people, and it has a long and distinguished history.  

    This year, however, having consulted with the various statutory and non-statutory bodies involved in the Reek pilgrimage, having in mind the Government’s “Roadmap” for emerging from the coronavirus pandemic, and accepting the clear public health advice offered, it is necessary to cancel the 2020 National Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick on 26 July”.