A centre established by the Catholic Church in Munich will tend to the spiritual needs of the Irish living there.
Catholic hierarchy concerns about the spiritual welfare of Irish emigrants in Germany has led to the establishment of a pastoral centre in Munich.
The Irish Catholic bishops have been aware for some years now of the growing needs of Irish emigrants abroad.
Similar chaplaincy schemes were established in Britain in the mid-1950s, Paris in 1987 and New York in 1988.
In summer 1987, three priests from All Hallows in Dublin examined the needs of the Irish community in Munich and found that there was a need for an Irish Pastoral Centre. There are already eighteen emigrant chaplaincies in Munich. The Archdiocese of Munich agreed to provide two floors of a building near the main railway station to the Irish and to cover the day to day running costs. The pastoral centre 'St Cillians' opened last week under the management of Father Thomas Healy.
Spiritual concerns take priority here.
Mass is held at the centre each evening and a Sunday mass for the Irish community is held each week in a nearby church. According to Fr Healy, these are extremely well attended by the Irish community. While spirituality is the main concern, there is also a focus on hospitality with the centre providing a place where the Irish can feel welcome and get advice and information.
Kevin McGeeney from Roscommon made contact with the Irish mission in Munich well in advance of making the move there. He found the information and advice they provided invaluable for his move.
Fr Healy believes that anybody considering making the move to Germany should make advance preparations for employment and accommodation as well as learning the language.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 12 July 1989. The reporter is Kieron Wood.