It is with genuine regret that I have heard of the resignation of the Bishop of Galway, Most Reverend Martin Drennan due to ill health. I have had for many years the honour both of serving with him in the episcopate and of counting him for much longer as a personal friend.
In all the time I have known him, Bishop Drennan’s life has been one animated and informed by faith in God, by love for the Church and all its people and by duty to the Gospel. Bishop Martin is a man of few words but these words were very carefully chosen and contained great depth and insight. Deeply spiritual in outlook, he continually drew his inspiration from the Word of God which shaped his ministry as bishop. When sharing God’s word with people, there were always new insights which were comforting, consoling but also challenging.
He has given unstintingly of himself in that service, irrespective of thanks or criticism. His natural modesty and reserve concealed an able, principled and determined leader. That leadership had deep roots which nourished and supported his ministry. A man of integrity, he recognised that truth always has a liberating quality which finds expression in courage and conviction.
He was always happiest in prayer, study and teaching, in all of which he habitually excelled.
Caring and compassionate in his relationships, he will be missed by the people, religious and priests of the diocese. He never, during all his service as a shepherd, recoiled from witnessing to the Gospel irrespective of the circumstances.
In terms of his ease and physical health, Bishop Drennan’s retirement will be welcomed, but in every other regard it is a cause for sadness. The Church in Ireland has been the richer for his service as a bishop and is greatly the poorer for its ending. I wish him every rest and happiness and look forward to our continued friendship in the years ahead.
- Archbishop Michael Neary is Archbishop of Tuam.
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