I was saddened to learn of the death of Bishop Thomas Flynn, Bishop Emeritus of Achonry. While his time at the Bishops’ Conference preceded mine his reputation as a pastoral leader with a great love for Catholic education was known throughout Ireland. Bishop Flynn led the Diocese of Achonry for almost 31 years until his retirement in January 2008. I offer my prayerful condolences to his family, friends, to Bishop Brendan Kelly and to the priests and people of the diocese.
As a member of the Bishop’ Conference, he served on its Council for Communications and acted as spokesperson; he was chair of the bishops’ Education Commission between 1992 and 2004, and contributed to discussions around the Education Act of 1998. Bishop Flynn also played a creative role in the Bishops’ Laity and Social Welfare Commissions.
As Bishop of Achonry, he promoted adult religious education through the building of a pastoral centre in Charlestown and the establishment of diocesan centres and parish centres for religious education. Bishop Flynn was also involved in the Catholic Bishops’ Develop the West initiative.
As we remember Bishop Flynn, a man with a great passion and grá for education, it seems appropriate to share some of the words of another great man of education, Saint Thomas Aquinas, who said: “If, then, you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, because He Himself is the way.”
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
+ Eamon Martin
Archbishop of Armagh and President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference
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