30th November 2007
Episcopal Ordination of Bishop–elect Séamus Freeman
You, or a representative, are invited to attend the Episcopal Ordination of the Right Reverend Monsignor Séamus Freeman SAC as Bishop of Ossory on Sunday 2 December 2007, in St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny at 3:00pm.
The Principal Consecrator will be the Most Reverend Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin; and the co-consecrators will be His Excellency, Most Reverend Giuseppe Lazzarotto, the Apostolic Nuncio; and, the Most Reverend Laurence Forristal, Bishop Emeritus of Ossory.
Cardinal Seán Brady, the Archbishop of Armagh; Cardinal Desmond Connell, Archbishop Emeritus of Dublin; members of the Irish Bishops’ Conference; as well as priests of the Diocese of Ossory, will also attend this Mass.
Notes to Editors
Bishop-elect Séamus Freeman was born on 23 February 1944, the eldest of eight children, in the parish of Mullinahone, Co Tipperary, in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly. His family later moved to Callan, Co Kilkenny, where he attended school.
Bishop-elect Freeman entered the Society of Catholic Apostolate (Pallotines) in Thurles, Co Tipperary and made his first Pallotine consecration in 1965. He studied philosophy at the National University of Ireland, University College Dublin, and theology at St Patrick’s College, Thurles. He was ordained a priest on 12 June 1971.
Subsequent to his ordination, Bishop-elect Freeman attended the Catholic University of Washington to pursue studies in psychology but was called to Rome not long afterwards to act as personal secretary to the Rector General of his society. Two years later he returned to Washington to complete his studies and was awarded a degree in psychology.
In 1975, Bishop-elect Freeman was appointed Director of Formation and Rector of the Church of Saint Sylvester in Rome. During his rectorship, in May 1975, he was also elected a member of the Provincial Council of the Irish Province of the Society. In 1981 he returned to Ireland to take up the post of Rector and Director of Formation at the Pallotine College in Thurles.
While participating as delegate in the General Assembly of his Society in 1983, Bishop-elect Freeman was elected to the General Council of the Pallottines in Rome for a term of six years. In 1989 he was appointed Vicar General of the Society. Three years later, in 1992, Fr Martin Juritsch, the then Rector General of the Society fell gravely ill and Bishop-elect Freeman was elected to succeed him at an Extraordinary General Assembly. He was re-elected for a second six year term in 1998.
In 1994 Bishop-elect Freeman took part as an ‘auditor’ in the 1994 Synod of Bishops, dedicated to the theme of the religious life. During his term as Rector General, on 28 October 2003, the Pallottine family, known as the “Union of the Catholic Apostolate”, was declared a “Public and International Association of the Faithful” by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. At an international Assembly of the Union held in Rome in December 2005, Bishop-elect Freeman was unanimously re-elected President of their General Co-ordination Council for a term of three years.
At the conclusion of his second term as Rector General of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, Bishop-elect Freeman spent a year with the Irish Pallottine community at Saint Sylvester’s in Rome after which, on 7 October 2004, he was appointed Parish Priest of the Church of St Vincent Pallotti, at Pietralata, in Rome.
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Kathy Tynan Communications Officer (086 817 5674)