Bishop William Lee congratulates Father Alphonsus Cullinan on his appointment by Pope Francis as Bishop of Waterford & Lismore

02 Feb 2015

Your Excellency, Archbishop Brown Apostolic Nuncio, Monsignor O’Mahony, my brother priests, religious and people of the diocese.  It is my great privilege and honour this morning to inform you that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has appointed Father Alphonsus Cullinan, a priest of the diocese of Limerick, to be my successor as Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.  The priests religious and people of the diocese have been waiting expectantly for this day and I have no doubt that the news of Fr. Cullinan’s appointment will be received with great joy.  On behalf of the priests and people of the diocese, I want to extend to Father Cullinan this morning a most sincere welcome among us.

A native of Lahinch, Co. Clare, Father Cullinan is currently P.P. of Rathkeale, Co. Limerick.  Prior to his ordination in 1994 he worked as a Primary Teacher for six years in Castleconnell Co. Limerick.  Since ordination he ministered as a curate in Limerick City and was chaplain to the Regional Hospital, Limerick.  He studied for his doctorate in moral theology in Rome and served as chaplain to L.I.T. Limerick until his appointment as P.P. of Rathkeale in 2011.  As you see, he comes to this diocese with a wealth of experience in many different ministries.

Father Cullinan, as we gather to introduce you to the diocese, I am very conscious of how happy and blessed I have been as Bishop of the diocese of Waterford and Lismore.  I will be forever grateful for the warmth of the welcome and indeed for the encouragement and support I have received from priests and people over the past twenty one years.  I know that you will receive that same kind of welcome, encouragement and support as you lead this diocese into the future.

In Waterford and Lismore you will find dedicated priests, committed religious and enthusiastic lay men and women, young and not so young, who greet you warmly today and who are eager to be your co-workers in the vineyard of the Lord.

It is a happy coincidence that you come amongst us on the Feast of the Presentation when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple to thank God for the gift of their Son and to ask the Fathers protection and blessing on their new-born.  Like Mary and Joseph, I give thanks for the gift Pope Francis has given us in you as Bishop and this morning, as we warmly welcome you, I ask God’s blessing on your life among us as you courageously proclaim the Good News to the people of Waterford and Lismore.


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