Franciscan order leaving historic Waterford home

Members of the Franciscan order are leaving their historic Waterford home.

The three priests and one brother who live in the friary in Lady Lane will move to other houses of their choice if that is possible.

Franciscan provincial, Fr Aidan McGrath, said it had been decided "with deep regret" to end a resident Franciscan presence in Waterford from next month.

Over the past two decades the Franciscan Province of Ireland, like many other religious institutions, had to withdraw its presence from many “cherished locations” in Ireland.

Dwindling numbers, increasing age and illness had taken their toll, said Fr McGrath.

Given the fact that one of the most illustrious members of the order, Fr Luke Wadding OFM was a native of Waterford, this decision was not taken lightly or with any disregard for history.

The national housing association, Respond! was founded by Fr Pat Cogan, a member of the Waterford fraternity.

Until recently, the friars were the official chaplains in University Hospital Waterford as well as chaplains and teachers in Waterford Institute of Technology.

“For as long as it can be continued, it is intended that the friars in Clonmel (Co Tipperary) will take charge of the Franciscan Church at Lady Lane and will maintain the sacred ministry. As for the friary itself, it is intended that this will become the residence of a religious order," said Fr McGrath.

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