His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed the Very Reverend Thomas Deenihan (a priest of the Diocese of Cork & Ross) as the new Bishop of Meath. The news of the appointment was made public at 12.00 noon on Monday 18 June in the Vatican (11.00am Irish time).
Archbishop Eamon Martin has welcomed the appointment by the Holy Father Pope Francis of Canon Thomas Deenihan as the new Bishop of Meath, saying, “I warmly welcome the appointment today by Pope Francis of Canon Thomas Deenihan (Cork and Ross) as Bishop of the historic diocese of Meath, which is situated in the metropolitan province of Armagh. I offer my sincere congratulations and prayerful support to Bishop-elect Deenihan on what is a joyous day for him, his family, friends and for the faithful of the 69 parishes of Meath.
“Bishop-elect Deenihan’s background in education, serving as General Secretary of the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association from October 2013 and as Acting Executive Secretary of the Council for Education of the Irish Episcopal Conference from July 2016, as well as his role as Diocesan Secretary in his home dioceses of Cork & Ross highlights some of the rich experiences that he will bring to the people of his new diocese. I look forward to working alongside Bishop-elect Deenihan in the Irish Bishops’ Conference and I pray that his new patron, Saint Finian, will guide him in his ministry.”
Archbishop Martin continued, “On this day I also wish to express my deep gratitude to Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop Emeritus of Meath, the longest serving bishop in Ireland. For almost fifty years, Bishop Smith has made an outstanding contribution to the work of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, as its first Executive Secretary, and then as a highly committed Episcopal Secretary and member. He is highly respected by his brother bishops, and, as a relative newcomer to the Conference myself, I have valued highly his contributions and his warm personal encouragement. His wisdom and insights into recent ecclesial history in Ireland are unparalleled, including his first-hand experience of the Second Vatican Council and of the planning for the 1979 visit of Pope St John Paul II. I pray God’s blessings on him and wish him good health and happiness in retirement.”
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