Statement by Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor on the appointment by Pope Francis of Bishop Donal McKeown as Bishop of Derry
“Together with the faithful, priests, religious and laity, of the diocese of Down and Connor, I pray God’s blessing on Bishop Donal McKeown in his new ministry as Bishop of the historic diocese of Derry. I congratulate him wholeheartedly on his appointment.
His rich pastoral experience as priest and bishop go with him. As a teacher-priest, School Principal, Rector of the Diocesan Seminary and educationalist, Bishop Donal has given outstanding service to young people. As priest and Bishop he has worked tirelessly to promote their personal development and to deepen their knowledge of Jesus Christ.
He is a man of boundless energy and vibrant Christian hope. He has worked with courage and dedication to develop community relations and to further ecumenical understanding and dialogue. He has worked steadfastly to build solid foundations for peace with justice and to promote reconciliation and respect as the foundation stones of community, civic and public life.
Promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life is also a core priority of his life and ministry. In this and other arenas, such as education and the European heritage of Saint Columbanus, Bishop Donal’s ministry has extended to international church life, aided by his exceptional linguistic skills.
To his work and ministry at all levels Bishop Donal brings qualities of great personal warmth, energy, friendliness, integrity and courage. His love of the Christian heritage and tradition, of the Irish cultural heritage in all its expressions, of the Irish language, his strong sense of family and of community will surely anchor his ministry to the Church and people of Derry.
He is imbued with a lively faith and is a herald of the joy of the Gospel.
As Bishop Donal takes leave of his native diocese of Down and Connor, we entrust him to the care and welcome of the people, priests and religious of the diocese of Derry and I assure him of our prayerful support.”
For media contact: Father Edward McGee, Diocese of Down and Connor 0044 7811144268, and the Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444