Our Parish & Location

St John's Catholic Parish, Kilkenny,
is one of the forty two parishes of the Diocese of Ossory.

It consists of a city area and two rural areas, Dunmore and Johnswell, each with its own church.

The main church, St John’s, is situated opposite MacDonagh Shopping Centre and the Railway Station on the Dublin Road (N77).




Ossory Vocatios
Promotion # 36

Spend your life
growing rich
in the sight of God. 
That’s what counts. 
How will you do this?

If you think God is calling you to priesthood, call Fr. Kieran O'Shea, Ossory Vocations Director. ossoryvocdir@gmail.com. 

At a recent conference of Vocations Directors in Dublin Bishop Denis Brennan said that fostering Vocations is the task of some and the responsibility of all.  The Vocation Crisis of those called is also a crisis, today, of those calling.  If no one calls, how can anyone respond?

Statement of the
Summer 2016

General Meeting of the
Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Topics covered:

  • Supporting persecuted Christians, refugees and migrants
  • Vocations
  • Appointment of Secretary General to the World Meeting of Families in Ireland
  • Publication of Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia ‘The Joy of Love’
  • Bishops to undertake their ‘Ad Limina’ visit to Pope Francis in January 2017
  • World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, in July
  • Centenary of Cumann na Sagart
  • Trócaire
  • Irish Church Music Association Summer School
  • Ukraine collection
  • Michael Keane RIP

Click below for full statement


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“It was for me a great privilege to have served you;
thank you and God bless you, good people of Ossory.”

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Some time ago I wrote to the Holy Father requesting him to accept my early retirement as Bishop of Ossory due to ill health in accordance with Canon 401 § 2. I am pleased that the Holy Father has accepted my early retirement as and from 11.00 a.m. today, and I thank him for his kindness to me.

Since suffering a stroke in September 2013 I have continued to serve the good people of God, entrusted to my care as Bishop, to the best of my ability. It was my hope that I would continue my episcopal service until the retirement age of 75 years. However, due to ill health, for some time now I have found my ministry as Bishop to be somewhat of a challenge. Therefore, after prayerful reflection and with a sense of sadness, I came to my decision to retire, as I have been very happy and blessed amongst you, the good people, priests and religious of the Diocese of Ossory.

However, with God’s help, I am confident that I have made the right decision. As you and I know, with God on our side who can be against us? If God is for us, who is against us. Romans 8:31.

I thank the good Lord for bestowing on me the grace to serve Him, to serve His Church, and to serve you, His people. I must say for me it was a great privilege and a tremendous joy to have served you as your Bishop. Throughout my entire life, and in particular when difficult decisions had to be made in my service, I have always endeavoured to deal with the people of God with a deep sense of dignity and respect, in accordance with the true spirit of the Gospel. It is my hope, and indeed it is my fervent prayer, despite my limitations, that I have served you well.

I thank the many priests of the Diocese for their service, for their personal support and for the solidarity they have shown to me during my episcopal service.

I thank the women and men of Consecrated Life for their apostolic service in our Diocese and for their support and kindness in my service as Bishop.

I extend my deepest gratitude to the people of Ossory whom I have served for almost nine years. I continue to be overwhelmed, and indeed very much humbled, by the kindness and absolute goodness shown to me by the good people of God during that time and, in particular, the kindness and prayerful good wishes I have received in recent times.

I thank my brother Bishops for their support and for their solidarity during my episcopal service.

I thank my work family, the staff at the Diocesan Office and at Blessed Felix House, for their true friendship, for their kindness and for their loyalty to me. It has been such a joyous experience to have shared the journey with you.

And finally, I thank my own family for their support and for their continued presence in my life, particularly over the past number of years.

With the help of God I hope to continue, albeit in a different way, to serve the good Lord and His people to the best of my ability by living and proclaiming His Gospel.

Please be assured of my prayers and I respectfully ask for yours.
Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Thank you and God bless you, good people of Ossory.

+ Séamus Freeman, SAC               29th July 2016 Feast of St. Martha


Mgr Michael Ryan elected as
Administrator of the Diocese of Ossory

Following the acceptance by the Holy Father of the retirement of Bishop Séamus Freeman SAC, today (29th July 2016) the College of Consultors elected Mgr Michael Ryan (P.P. Castlecomer) as Administrator of the Diocese of Ossory.  

A Diocesan Administrator has responsibility for administering the day-to-day affairs of the Diocese while a new Bishop is awaited.
Following the announcement Mgr Ryan said: “I am humbled to be asked to take on this new responsibility and I hope to continue the good work that Bishop Séamus oversaw in our Diocese for these past nine years. I wish him well in his retirement and pray for his continued health.

I hope to do all that I can to facilitate the continued implementation of our Diocesan Pastoral Plan and the many other good works in the Diocese which give us life and hope. I respectfully ask that people keep me in their prayers as we now await the appointment of a new Bishop.”

Mgr Ryan, who is a native of St John’s Parish, Kilkenny, was educated in St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny. He was ordained on 11th June 1967 and served as Curate in the parishes of Dunamaggan, St Patrick’s and St Mary’s Cathedral.  Mgr Ryan then began teaching in 1967 in the Vocational School before undertaking Post Graduate studies in Religious Education.

In 1973 he joined the staff in St Kieran’s College and became President there in 1990. In 1995 he was appointed Parish Priest of Castlecomer Parish. Mgr Ryan served as Episcopal Vicar for Retired Clergy and since 2002 as Vicar General of the Diocese. Mgr Ryan has already served as Administrator of the Diocese for a period in 2007.





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St John's Presbytery
Dublin Road

Tel: 056 772 1072

Fr Frank Purcell: 086 601 0001

Fr Seán O'Connor: 086 389 5911

Fr Brian Griffin: 087 064 4158

E: stjohns@ossory.ie

W: stjohnskilkenny.com



Dear Parishioner,

As you are probably aware two weeks ago I was elected as Administrator of the Diocese of Ossory while we await a new Bishop. It is, therefore, my responsibility to ensure that the day-to-day affairs of the Diocese are managed. I am humbled to be asked to take on this new role and I hope to continue the good work in our Diocese.

Thankfully many good things are going on. In these past days we have appointed our first lay pastoral worker who will act as Co-ordinator of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan. It is an exciting venture for Ossory as this plan was drawn up by the people of the Diocese and therefore should help us to better serve you and your needs.

There are also excellent initiatives in our parishes, schools and various communities and these bring life to our Diocese and put flesh on our faith. Major work has also been undertaken on St Mary’s Cathedral, its campus and Blessed Felix House. As you know this project, which was first started in 2008, is to help protect, restore and develop these areas. It is a massive undertaking and the realisation of the complete vision for this project will take many years to achieve. For now we have completed work on various stages: the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, the restoration of the apse of the main Cathedral, the work on the Chapter House providing a Catholic book and gift shop and tea rooms and Blessed Felix House which serves as the Bishop’s residence and meetings rooms for the Diocese. These projects have cost €3.9 million for the Cathedral and its campus and €1.3 million for the purchase of the site of 1.1 acres, intended for future development, and the restoration of Blessed Felix House. From the very beginning of this project it was envisioned that the sale of the original Bishop’s residence and lands on Sion Road (14 acres) would be used to cover the cost of Blessed Felix House and to offset the major cost of the Cathedral project. An amazing €1.1 million has been raised through fundraising for the Cathedral since this began a number of years ago and we intend to continue to fundraise before undertaking any new developments. All these works bring new life to the grounds of our Cathedral which lies at the heart of our Diocese. I thank you for your support for this venture and for all other works in the Diocese.

As we await the appointment of a new Bishop I ask for your continued prayers and support for all we do together. In this time all in our Diocese will continue to serve each other in the spirit of the Gospel.

Mgr Michael Ryan
Adm. Diocese of Ossory
12th August 2016



Your Reflection This Week


Lord, we thank you
that you know there is a fire you want to bring to the earth
and you wish it were blazing already.
We know that you did not come to bring peace on earth
but rather division.
We thank you for the times
when you brought some separation between us
and people we knew were very close to us.

Both today’s readings highlight the meaning of faith, and stress that it has more to do with trusting in God than it has with believing certain truths. On the night of Passover the Israelites, who were a powerless band of runaway slaves, were escaping from the greatest empire in the world. They were heading out into the wilderness not knowing their final destination. Equally Abraham and Sarah were asked to set out for a land they did not know and to leave everything with which they were familiar. In following Christ, we too are asked to take God’s hand and to follow a path which is often at odds with the values of the world in which we live. We are to be Christ’s instruments as he reaches out to those most in need.

© St John's Presbytery Dublin Road, Kilkenny - Tel 056-772 1072 - E-mail: stjohns@ossory.ie