Your Irish grandparents or great-grandparents would probably find this hard to believe. But Ireland is now forced to go to other countries to find priests:
Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Denis Nulty visited the east Romanian diocese of Iasi “to explore how we might support projects out there in exchange for priests coming to minister in our diocese.”
An immediate result is that the first Romanian priest will arrive to Kildare and Leighlin on August 29th, he said, adding that he hoped a second Romanian priest would come to work in the diocese over the coming months.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Bishop Nulty recalled how a relationship between the Irish Catholic Church and its Romanian counterpart had grown through the Irish College in Rome where some Romanian seminarians had also been sponsored by dioceses in Ireland.
Increasingly over the years Romanian priests also served in Irish dioceses during summer months.
With a Catholic population of almost 900,000 in Romania, just 5 per cent of the total population, the church there is strong and “vocations are very good there, with a surplus of priests”, Bishop Nulty said.