THE Parish Priest of St Mary’s on the Hill, Fr John Forsythe, says he is very sad to be leaving Glengormley after six years at St Bernard’s.
Fr Forsythe, who moved from Christ the Redeemer parish, will now take up the parish priest role in Randalstown.
Also moving from St Mary’s on the Hill parish is Fr Damien McCaughan who will take up a curate’s role in Ballymena.
They will be replaced by Fr Patrick Sheehan and Fr Darren Brennan respectively.
Fr John said he would miss the community.
“I replaced Fr Dan White around September 2011 and I have loved being in this parish and never had better friendships than I have built up here in my last six years. The cooperation of the people has meant a lot and I am very, very sorry to be leaving.
“The parish here is a happy, confident community of people who are very, very generous and willing to participate and always willing to learn more about their faith.”
Fr John says the links between other churches and even unionist politicians has been strong.
“I’ve had a great relationship with Reverend Merica Malcolm in the Church of the Holy Evangelists in Carnmoney and David Brice from the Presbyterian Church in Glengormley. Rev Charles Harris in Glengormley Methodist Church and Pastor Billy McClea in Glenvarna Christian Centre have also been good friends to me.
“Council has always been supportive, particularly Thomas Hogg from the DUP when he was Mayor. He came up to us anytime we had any event on.”
Although he is sad to be moving, Fr John says his pastoral life has always included change.
“I was ordained in 1976 and then taught in Knock and the Holy Rosary until 1990.
“After that I went to Boston to do a Masters and came home and worked first as a school inspector covering the whole diocese from Portstewart to Kilkeel. I then worked in a support role for schools before going to Christ the Redeemer so I am used to moving around.”