New Bishop for the Diocese of Killala

19 Feb 2002

New Bishop for the Diocese of Killala

His Holiness Pope John Paul II has appointed Monsignor John Fleming, former Rector of the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, as Bishop of Killala. The appointment was officially announced in Rome at 12.00 noon (11.00am Irish time) today.

Monsignor Fleming was born on 16 February 1948 in Ardpatrick, Co Limerick. He was educated at Saint Munchin’s Diocesan College, Limerick and Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he obtained a Baccalaureate in Divinity in 1971.

The new bishop was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Limerick in 1972 and was curate in Saint Michael’s Parish, Limerick City from 1972 to 1974, during which time he also acted as Assistant Diocesan Secretary. He attended ‘Cursus Renovationis’ at the Gregorian University (1974-1975) and worked in the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of Westminster (1975), returning to Limerick as Diocesan Secretary (1975-1979).

Monsignor Fleming obtained his Licentiate in Canon Law at the Gregorian University (1979-1981) and was re-appointed Diocesan Secretary and later Financial Administrator (1981). He served at the Pontifical Irish College, Rome as Director of Studies and later Vice Rector (1983-1993) and was appointed Rector of the College from 1993 to 2001. In 1993 he was made a Prelate of Honour of His Holiness, and in 1997 he was awarded a Doctorate in Canon Law from the Gregorian University.

Monsignor Fleming will replace The Most Reverend Thomas A Finnegan DD, DCL who was ordained Bishop of Killala on 12 July 1987. Bishop Finnegan was born in 1925 and submitted his resignation to the Holy Father on reaching his 75th birthday on 26 August 2000.

The Diocese of Killala has a Catholic population of 38,000 in 22 parishes, and includes portions of Counties Mayo and Sligo. St Muredach’s Cathedral is located in Ballina, Co Mayo.


19 February 2002

Further information:

Catholic Communications Office (01) 601 6700
Fr Martin Clarke 087 220 8044
Ms Brenda Drumm 087 233 7797