Are we looking at the end of the parish as we've known it on this island for decades? Could this herald another reformation within the Catholic Church? A pastoral letter has been issued by Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown, in his role as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Down and Connor. He explains how falling vocations to the priesthood means ageing priests and more priests retiring and no one to fill their shoes. The shortages mean that very soon, it may no longer be the norm that every individual who dies has a mass celebrated for them as part of the funeral rites. A pilot project will begin this summer involving lay women and men becoming more involved in the Church - carrying out rituals like the funeral rites at the graveside or crematorium.