Episcopal Ordination of Father Denis Nulty as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin to take place on Sunday 4 August

30 Jul 2013

Episcopal Ordination of Father Denis Nulty as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin to take place on Sunday 4 August

You or a representative are invited to attend the Episcopal Ordination of Father Denis Nulty as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.  Details:

Time and date    3:00pm on Sunday 4 August 2013

Venue                       Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow.

In attendance     Bishops, religious, priests, laity, family members and guests.


The principal ordaining bishop will be Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, assisted by His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles J Brown and Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath. Monsignor Brendan Byrne, Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin will concelebrate the Mass and will preach the homily.

Details of attendees

Also in attendance will be His Eminence Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Desmond Connell, Archbishop Emeritus of Dublin, Bishop Jim Moriarty, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin and other members of the hierarchy.

There will be 750 guests in the Cathedral of the Assumption. Along with members of the hierarchy, attendees on the day will include 200 family and friends of Father Nulty, 170 parish representatives, 100 diocesan guests including members of local religious communities, a further 100 people will participate in the choir and assist in the liturgy. 200 priests will be in attendance from the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, the Diocese of Meath, religious orders along with classmates and other priest guests. Admittance to the Cathedral on the day will be by ticket only.

For those who would like to be present on the day and join in the ceremony, arrangements have been made to have the ceremony streamed into the nearby Cathedral Parish Centre and the George Bernard Shaw theatre. Holy Communion will be brought from the Cathedral to both of these prayer spaces during the ceremony.

After the ceremony all present will be invited to Carlow College for refreshments.

Media arrangements

An area for media has been reserved on the gallery in the Cathedral of the Assumption. Due to limited capacity access will be gained to the ordination Mass by officially accredited media only. Those wishing to attend should contact the Catholic Communications Office in Maynooth on 01 505 3013 no later than Thursday 1 August.

Bishop Nulty will greet people outside the Cathedral after the ceremony and media are welcome to record this. Shortly after this he will be available to speak to media in the courtyard of the Cathedral.


A pooling arrangement is in place for photographs. John McElroy has been retained by the diocese as the official photographer for the ceremony.  If photographs are required please contact him directly on: 00 353 (0) 87 2416985 or e-mail [email protected]. Due to space constraints there will be no access for other photographers inside the Cathedral during the ceremony.

Live streaming

The ordination ceremony will be live-streamed on www.iCatholic.ie.  The broadcast will begin at 2.40pm approximately. More details are available on the diocesan website – www.kandle.ie – including a video message from Father Nulty. This footage will be broadcast quality and can be made available to relevant media.

Media briefing

A media briefing will take place on Sunday 4 August one hour ahead of the ordination ceremony at 2.00pm in the Cathedral Parish Centre adjacent to the Cathedral.

Social media:

You can follow the ordination ceremony on Facebook (Kildare and Leighlin Diocese) and Twitter (@KANDLEi). The official Twitter hashtag is #kandlei.

Episcopal Motto and Crest

Father Nulty has chosen the Episcopal motto ‘Serve the Lord with Gladness’, which is taken from Psalm 100.

The Crest features a hill with a fire on top recalling the lighting of the Paschal Fire by Saint Patrick on the hill at Easter. Also included is the Cross of Saint Brigid of Kildare. As an ancient Christian symbol the Fleur-de-Lys represents purity, and therefore in turn the Virgin Mary.

The colours in the shield signify the virtues and gifts that Father Denis hopes for himself in his Episcopal ministry and virtues he will endeavour to spread to all in his pastoral care.

Silver/White – Argent: Signifies truth, sincerity, peace, innocence and purity.

Gold – Or: Signifies wisdom, generosity, glory, constancy and faith.

Green – Vert: Signifies abundance, joy, hope and loyalty in love.

Blue – Azure: Signifies loyalty, chastity, truth, strength and faith.


Notes for Editors


  • On 7 May 2013, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Father Denis Nulty, Parish Priest of Saint Mary’s Drogheda, Co Louth, Diocese of Meath as the new Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.
  • The Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin has a Catholic population of over 248,000 people, comprising 56 parishes and 117 churches. There are 95 priests in active ministry and 22 retired priests. The Principal Patron of the Diocese is Saint Brigid. Secondary patrons are Saint Conleth and Saint Lazerian. The diocese includes County Carlow and parts of Counties Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Kilkenny, Wicklow and Wexford. See kandle.ie for more information on the diocese. There are four large urban areas in the diocese: Naas, Newbridge, Portlaoise and Carlow. The present shape of Kildare and Leighlin diocese dates from 1678, when the previously separate dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin were for the first time placed under the pastoral care of the same Bishop, Dr Mark Forristal O.S.A.
  • Details of Bishop-elect Denis Nulty’s life and ministry are below:

Denis Nulty was born in Slane, County Meath on 7 June 1963 to parents Den Nulty and Nan Balfe. He is the youngest of five children, with two brothers and two sisters. The family farm was the home where Denis and his siblings were reared.

He attended Primary School at Saint Patrick’s National School, Slane and Secondary School at Saint Patrick’s Classical School, Navan, completing the Leaving Certificate exam in 1981.

Denis entered the seminary at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth in September 1981, completing a BA in 1984 and a BD in 1987.

Father Denis was ordained a Priest for the Diocese of Meath in Saint Patrick’s Church, Slane on 12 June 1988 by Bishop Michael Smith in the presence of Bishop John McCormack.

In September 1988 Bishop Smith appointed Father Denis as Curate in the Cathedral Parish at Mullingar where he served for ten years until 1998.

In August 1998 Bishop Smith appointed Father Denis as Parish Priest of Saint Mary’s, Drogheda where he has remained until the present day.

In 2006 Father Denis followed a course of study in All Hallows College, Dublin, leading to an MA in Management for the Pastoral and Voluntary Services being awarded by DCU.

In September 2006 Bishop Smith appointed Father Denis as Vicar Forane for the Duleek Deanery which comprises seven parishes.  Father Denis has been Chairperson of the Council of Priests in the Diocese of Meath for the past eight years.

Important media clarification:

When it was announced that Father Denis Nulty was to become the next Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin (7 May 2013), a number of media outlets made factually incorrect statements about Bishop Jim Moriarty and his resignation as Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, specifically that he was criticised in the Murphy report. These factual errors resulted in corrections having to be printed in various national and local papers – including The Irish Times and the Irish Independent.

Bishop Jim Moriarty was not directly criticised in the Murphy report. Bishop Moriarty offered his resignation in December 2009 because Bishop Moriarty himself – not the Murphy report – came to the conclusion that, with hindsight, he should have done more to challenge the “prevailing culture”.

In his public statement on 23 December 2009 announcing his decision to offer his resignation, Bishop Moriarty stated: “I hope it honours the truth that the survivors have so bravely uncovered and opens the way to a better future for all concerned.”


For media contact: Father Mícheál Murphy, Communications Officer for the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin 00 353 (0) 86 8244629 or the Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444.