Cardinal Brady’s message of congratulations to Bishop Donal McKeown on his appointment as Bishop of Derry
I gladly send congratulations and good wishes to Bishop Donal McKeown on his appointment by Pope Francis as Bishop of Derry. I pray God to bless him abundantly at this time.
I have known Bishop McKeown for many years and have worked with him as a member of the Irish Bishops’ Conference for the past thirteen years since his ordination as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Down and Connor.
During his time in the Bishops’ Conference Bishop McKeown has been an energetic and enthusiastic member of the Councils for Clergy, Education, Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development and Vocations. He is also the Chairman of the National Committee of Diocesan Youth Directors. In all of these areas Bishop McKeown has shown exceptional leadership and enthusiasm.
Very popular with all age groups, Bishop McKeown has led many pilgrimages to World Youth Day events, the most recent one to Rio de Janeiro last July. As Chairman of the National Diocesan Youth Directors he oversees this vital area of ministry in the Church.
As Chairman of the Bishops’ Council for Vocations, Bishop McKeown works tirelessly to promote vocations to the priesthood and to instil a culture of vocations in Irish parishes. He played a very active part in the Year of Vocation and currently leads a team of dedicated priests, religious and laity in the Council for Vocations.
I am confident that Bishop McKeown has the gifts and qualities needed to lead the Diocese of Derry. As well as being an excellent communicator, his experience in Catholic education, parish ministry and diocesan administration have shown his wonderful ability to lead people by word and example. All of this has prepared him well for this special day.
I take this opportunity to thank Father Francis Bradley for serving so competently as diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Derry since April of last year.
I know for certain that Bishop McKeown will have many prayers from the people of the Diocese of Down and Connor he has served so generously. I too wish him prayerful good wishes as he takes up his new episcopal ministry in Derry. May Saint Columcille watch over him now and always.
• Cardinal Seán Brady is Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.
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