Fr Stephen Joyce PP with Bishop Larry Duffy at Fr Joyce's installation as PP of Tydavnet on Sunday 1 December 2019. Photo courtesy of Michael Fisher, The Northern Standard.

On Sunday, 1 December 2019 – the First Sunday of Advent, during the celebration of Eucharist in St Mary’s Church, Urbleshanny, Fr Stephen Joyce was installed as the new Parish Priest of Tydavnet by Bishop Larry Duffy, Bishop of Clogher, who was the chief celebrant of the Mass.   Fr Joyce succeeds Fr Brian Early who had been PP of Tydavnet from January 2001 until last September. He will continue to minister in the parish as Pastor Emeritus.

Induction & Installation:

The Rite of Induction and Installation took place after the homily when the new Parish Priest was inducted by hearing his rights and responsibilities read aloud. He then made a Profession of Faith following which he was formally installed by the Bishop. To mark his responsibility to preach the Gospel and administer the sacraments, he was presented with the Lectionary of Readings from the Word of God. To symbolise his canonical authority in the parish, he was presented with the key of the parish church. He was then presented to his parishioners, with whom he will journey in faith.

Fr Stephen Joyce

Fr Stephen Joyce comes from the Parish of Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan. He was ordained in 1989 and since then has been a member of staff in St Macartan’s College, Monaghan and has served in the parishes of Ballybay (Tullycorbet), Co Monaghan, Cleenish and Botha, Co Fermanagh, Monaghan & Rackwallace (Cathedral Parish) and Tydavnet. His is also chaplain to second-level schools in Monaghan town. Fr Joyce is also a member of the Council of Priests of the diocese. In addition, he has a keen interest and involvement in the GAA at club and other levels.

Parish of Tydavnet

The Parish of Tydavnet is situated in north-Monaghan, encompassing the areas of Scotstown, Tydavnet, Knockatallon and Ballinode. The parish has three churches and three primary schools. The population of the parish is 3,353 (2015). The name of the parish is from Tigh Damhnata (Damhnat’s house), after a 6th century Irish saint who founded a church in the area and is associated with nearby Sliabh Beagh. Her feastday is 15 May. The Bachall Damhnait or St Samhnat’s staff, a pilgrim staff dating from the 9th or 10th century, is kept in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. St Damhnat is also linked with the Belgian martyr St Dympna of Geel.

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