Welcome address by Monsignor Brendan Byrne on the appointment of Father Denis Nulty as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin
I would like to welcome everyone here today. It has just been announced in the Vatican that our Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed Father Denis Nulty of the Diocese of Meath as our new Bishop, here in the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin.
On behalf of the people, religious and priests of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, I want to express our sincere gratitude to Pope Francis.
As everyone is well aware, this day was long-awaited and we are joyful now to greet our Bishop-Elect and to extend to him our congratulations and warmest welcome. We also welcome here today Bishop Jim Moriarty, our retired Bishop, and Bishop Michael Smith of Meath.
Saint Brigid of Kildare, the patron saint of our diocese, was renowned for her hospitality. We remain inspired by how she invited people in and cared for them and how her community honoured the beautiful presence of Christ among us.
I would like to assure you, Father Denis, that, likewise, we will do all we can to welcome you into our community of faith, recognising the great responsibility that has been entrusted to you.
Father Denis is a native of Slane, where Saint Patrick lit the Easter fire. We welcome him to this diocese where in ancient days Brigid lit the fire of Christ in Kildare and Laserian (Molaise) nurtured that same flame of faith in Leighlin.
Father Denis brings with him twenty-five years of pastoral experience from his appointments in the Cathedral Parish in Mullingar and in Saint Mary’s Drogheda where he has served as Parish Priest for the last fifteen years. At the time of his appointment to Drogheda, he was the youngest Parish Priest in the country. We should now credit Bishop Smith for his foresight, as Father Denis will soon become the youngest Bishop in the country.
We should also express our thanks to the Diocese of Meath for providing our new Bishop. They have sent us their tallest priest. While this guarantees that we will all look up to our new Bishop, we look forward to sharing that deeper bond in which we will ‘see eye to eye’, and know ourselves truly to be brothers and sisters in Christ.
When Pope Benedict relinquished the Papacy earlier this year, it sent a powerful signal about humility, embracing a new departure for the good of the Church. It is now three years since Bishop Moriarty, with similar humility, stepped down from office here in Kildare and Leighlin and expressed the hope that it would open the way to a better future for all concerned.
With gratitude for all they both have done, we now celebrate with Easter faith and joy this new beginning for our faith community here in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.
We welcome you, Father Denis, as our Bishop-Elect and invite you to address us.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 233 7797 in Carlow (Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin)