Media information for the Episcopal Ordination of Canon Tom Deenihan as the new Bishop of Meath

30 Aug 2018

You or a colleague are invited to attend the celebration of Mass for the Episcopal Ordination of the Canon Tom Deenihan as the new Bishop of Meath.  Details:

Time and date 3.00pm Mass on Sunday 2 September 2018

Venue Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar, Diocese of Meath

In attendance Laity, religious, clergy, family and guests

Media arrangements: media centre, broadcasting and photography
At 2:00pm on Sunday, Martin Long of the Catholic Communications Office will be available to brief journalists at the dedicated media centre located adjacent to the Cathedral in Saint Mary’s Primary School, College Street, Mullingar.  The media centre will offer internet access and refreshments until after the Mass.  

Available for all journalists:

  • Ordination Booklet
  • Words of welcome from Most Reverend Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh
  • Text of the homily
  • Text of the Apostolic Mandate and photograph of the parchment
  • Photos of the Crozier, Ring and Mitre which will be presented to the new bishop
  • Heraldic Achievement (Coat of Arms) of the new bishop
  • Words of Most Reverend Tom Deenihan before the Final Blessing

The Ordination Mass will be livestreamed on A large screen for viewing will be available in the media centre.

The diocese has retained Mr John McElroy as the official photographer for the Episcopal Ordination.  Media may contact Mr McElroy by telephone on 087 241 6985 and/or by email on [email protected] to obtain photographs for publication purposes.

Following the conclusion of the Mass, and at the front door of the Cathedral, the newly consecrated Bishop Deenihan will greet members of the congregation in person.  Media representatives will have an opportunity for photographs.

Features of the Ordination ceremony, celebrants, preacher and in attendance

The Chief Ordaining Prelate will be Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, who will be assisted by Most Reverend Michael Smith, Bishop Emeritus of Meath and Most Reverend John Buckley, Bishop of Cork and Ross.  Rev Fergal Cummins, who will be ordained to the priesthood by the new Bishop of Meath on Sunday 30 September, will proclaim the Gospel.  The Apostolic Mandate from His Holiness Pope Francis will be read by Father Padraig McMahon, who serves as Cathedral Administrator and was ordained to the priesthood the same year as the new Bishop.  The homily will be preached by Father Denis McNelis, Parish Priest of Laytown and Mornington. Cardinal Séan Brady, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh will preside at the Mass.

Other concelebrants for the Mass will include His Excellency Archbishop Jude Thaddaeus Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio; Bishop Dermot Farrell and Bishop Denis Nulty, both formerly priests of the Diocese of Meath; and several retired Prelates from Cork, including Archbishop Patrick Coveney and Bishop Padraig O’Donoghue. Bishop Fintan Monahan, who was ordained to the diaconate together with Bishop Deenihan in 1990 by Bishop Michael Smith, will also concelebrate the Mass.

Concelebrants at the Mass will include priests and religious clergy from the Diocese of Meath and from the Diocese of Cork & Ross.

Representatives of Christian denominations are expected to be in attendance including Bishop Paul Colton from Cork, Canon Alastair Graham from Mullingar and Father Kyrillos Hanna from the Coptic Orthodox community.

In attendance at the Mass will be family and friends of Bishop Deenihan; representatives of Church groups in the Dioceses of Meath and Cork & Ross, colleagues of the new Bishop from Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth and representatives of civic society.

During the ceremony Bishop Deenihan will exchange greetings with representatives of various aspects of life in the Diocese of Meath. These include the following:

  • Oliver and Karen Gaffney from Castlepollard parish, with their children Brian (who will be confirmed by the new Bishop next year), Dylan and Sean;
  • Jaison and Manju Kunnathuparambil and family, originally from Kerala in India;
  • Tomás Nally from the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes;
  • Patrick and Kathleen Dinnegan from Mullingar parish;
  • Janice Decaymat, a nurse who came to Ireland from the Philippines and is working in the caring profession;
  • Mary Hughes and Martin Marshall who volunteer with the Westmeath homeless charity TEAM (Temporary Emergency Accommodation in the Midlands).

The music for the Mass will be provided by Mullingar Cathedral Choir and the Cathedral Choristers, under the direction of William Woods. Ronan McDonagh will be among a number of musicians taking part in the ceremony.

Notes to Editors

  • His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Father Tom Deenihan as Bishop of Meath on 18 June 2018.  The Diocese of Meath includes the greater part of counties Meath, Westmeath and Offaly.  The Patron Saint of the diocese is Saint Finian.  According to the Irish Catholic Directory 2018 the diocese has a Catholic population of 270,000 and consists of 69 parishes and 149 churches.  There are 86 diocesan priests in active ministry in the diocese and 24 others who are currently working in other dioceses, retired, on study or on sick leave.  Living and working in the diocese, from religious congregations, there are 95 priests, 18 Brothers and 150 Sisters.  The Bishop of Meath is patron of 198 primary schools, and there are 38 voluntary secondary schools and State schools in the diocese.
  • Please see below information on the life and ministry of Bishop Thomas Deenihan:

Tom Deenihan was born in the parish of Blackpool in Cork city on 20 June 1967.  He attended the North Monastery Christian Brothers School in the city.  After completing post-primary education, he studied in the national seminary of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.  He was ordained a deacon by Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, in Maynooth on 1 April 1990.  On 1 June 1991 he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Cork & Ross by the late Bishop Michael Murphy.

Since his ordination as a priest, Bishop-elect Deenihan worked in Glanmire Parish (1991-1994), taught in Saint Goban’s College Bantry (1994-2003) during which time he also worked in the parishes of Schull, Kealkil and Bantry.  During that time also he undertook a Masters and Doctoral Degree in Education.  In 2003, Bishop John Buckley, Bishop of Cork & Ross, appointed him as Diocesan Advisor for Post-Primary Catechetics and, in 2006, as Diocesan Secretary and Diocesan Education Secretary. 

On a national level, Bishop-elect Deenihan has served as the General Secretary of the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association from 2013 to 2016, and as acting-executive secretary to the Council for Education and to the Commission for Catholic Education and Formation of the Irish Episcopal Conference from 2016 to date.

Bishop-elect Deenihan is:
a member of the Honan Governors at University College Cork;
a member of Mercy Care South;
a Diocesan Public Juridic Person for the Mercy University Hospital in Cork;
chair of the Board of Directors of the Christian Leadership in Education Office. 

In 2017 Bishop John Buckley appointed him a Canon and a member of the Cathedral Chapter in Cork.


For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Katie Crosby 00353 (0) 86 862 3298