Words of introduction by Bishop Colm O’Reilly on the appointment of Father Francis Duffy as Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois
Your Excellency, Archbishop Brown, Apostolic Nuncio, representative of the Holy Father in Ireland, my Brother Bishop, Leo O’Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore, Religious and people of Longford Parish.
I am very happy to welcome the announcement today that Pope Francis has appointed Father Francis Duffy, a priest of Kilmore Diocese, to be the next Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois. I am very grateful to the Holy Father for appointing him.
On the 16 July 1967 a new Bishop was ordained for this Diocese, Bishop Cahal Daly, who was a priest of the diocese of Down and Connor. Forty-six years later, almost to the day, I welcome, in the name of the diocese and in my own, another Bishop, coming this time from the neighbouring County of Cavan. I hope he will feel immediately at home in our midst. He will certainly be warmly welcomed by priests, religious and lay people.
Father Francis has a wide range of experience in ministry, as teacher, Secondary School Principal and Diocesan Secretary. His current position in the Parish of Laragh adds, at first hand, an understanding of ministry in the parish context. All this experience will stand him in good stead in his new ministry.
After a time, in the celebration of Holy Mass throughout the Diocese we will get accustomed to praying for Francis, our Pope Francis, our Bishop! May this coincidence of a name shared also be symbolic of the sense of new beginning which is felt in the Church worldwide and in a particularly joyful way in Ardagh and Clonmacnois.
I now invite Father Francis to speak.
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