Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Immigrants enrich our culture – bishop

Ireland’s newest bishop has welcomed immigrants into Ireland in his first Christmas address.

Linking how many Irish are immigrants in other countries with recent immigration to Ireland, Killaloe’s Bishop Fintan Monahan noted that at Christmas “our emigrants are very much on our minds”.

Dr Monahan welcomed those who have returned to Ireland for the holiday period, saying his thoughts were with those who could not come home, and added, “I extend a special word of welcome to those who have come to join us from other countries and enrich our work-force and culture by settling in our midst.”

Picking up on a common theme since his episcopal ordination in September, the bishop also used his Christmas message to highlight rising concerns about the decline of rural services and the isolation this is causing.

“Several elderly people are feeling the pinch and with this an increased sense of loneliness and being abandoned,” he said, calling for all involved in the decision making and provision of rural services to bear this in mind even if this might not be financially profitable.

Praising the work of community organisations and district day care centres, he said, “The quality of life in country areas is so worth preserving and maintaining even if it comes at a cost.”

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