It is with a sense of deep sadness that I announce today the passing of Bishop Thomas Flynn, emeritus bishop of our Diocese of Achonry. Bishop Tom passed peacefully and very quietly into Eternal life last night – he had been in declining health for some time.
Bishop Tom was a native of Ballaghaderreen parish, where he also ministered as a priest, bishop and teacher for most of his life. Ordained as a priest in in 1956, he was appointed a bishop in 1977 and retired in 2007. He is remembered with fondness, for the kind and gentle way in which he carried out his ministry as a priest and as Shepherd of the diocese during all those years. An able communicator, Bishop Tom had a particular interest in, and passion for, Catholic education, having served for many years as teacher and President of Saint Nathy’s College. In addition he played a central role, nationally, serving on the Council for Education of the Irish Episcopal Conference.
Bishop Tom encouraged and implemented the reforms and developments of the Second Vatican Council with enthusiasm and determination in the diocese. He oversaw the establishment of centres for adult faith formation and pastoral education in Charlestown and Banada Abbey. He was particularly happy with the opening of the Father Peyton Centre for Family Prayer at Attymass, and the establishment of the Hope House addiction centre in Foxford.
Bishop Tom liked to say that he had had a happy life. He lived his final years with a deep sense of gratitude to God, and to all the people in his family and diocese that he had been privileged to serve.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis agus solas na bhFlaitheas go bhfeici sé.
· Bishop Brendan Kelly is Bishop of Achonry.
· Funeral arrangements for Bishop Tom Flynn: reposing in the Cathedral of the Annunciation and Saint Nathy’s, Ballaghadareen, Co Roscommon, from 6.00pm to 9.00pm this Friday, 5 June. Requiem Mass will be celebrated at 3.00pm on Saturday next, 6 June.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444