This is a very happy day for the Diocese of Cloyne. It has had one or two unhappy days in the recent years but we will not dwell on that today. On this, the Feast of Saint Colman, first Bishop and Patron of the Diocese, his latest successor is announced and presented.
I am in the fortunate position to be able to introduce the people of Cloyne, with whom I have worked part-time for almost four years now, to their new Bishop, Canon Billy Crean. I know Canon Crean since his student days in Saint Brendan’s College, Killarney, where I was teaching and I have followed his distinguished career since then. Therefore, I can assure the good people of Cloyne that they will have a holy and hard-working pastor in the years ahead.
Canon Crean comes of excellent farming stock and has many priests and religious in his immediate family. While he could well have pursued an academic career as a priest in Rome, he was equally content to become a pastoral priest working as a Curate and Parish Priest in parishes all over Kerry for over thirty years. He is a man of courage who is not afraid to undertake difficult projects. One example is the renovation of the Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church in Caherciveen, where he has been Parish Priest for some years.
I can equally assure Canon Crean that he will soon feel at home among the faithful and priests of the Diocese of Cloyne. They are wonderful people, warm and welcoming. I can vouch for that and for their support over often difficult times. They have been waiting expectantly for their new bishop and they are looking forward to working with him for the good of the ancient Diocese of Cloyne. The priests of the Diocese will give him a céad mile fáilte and will give him staunch support in the years ahead. It is worth mentioning that Father Billy Crean comes from Tralee where Archbishop Croke had some of his roots. Of course, he served as a priest in Cloyne for many years before he became a bishop.
I ask the good people of Cloyne to pray for their new bishop in the days and weeks ahead as he prepares for the most important undertaking of his life, namely being Bishop of Cloyne.
· Archbishop Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel & Emly, was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Cloyne on 7 March 2009.
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