Media Diary Notice: Father Michael Router to be ordained as Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh on Sunday

17 Jul 2019

Media Diary Notice for Sunday 21 July 2019: Father Michael Router to be ordained as Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh on Sunday

You, or a representative, are invited to attend the celebration of Mass for the Episcopal Ordination of Father Michael Router, as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Armagh.  Details:

Date and Time: 3.00pm on Sunday 21 July 2019.

Venue: Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.

In attendance: Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh; Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh; Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly of Cashel & Emly; Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland; Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Bishop Emeritus of Kilmore Diocese; Monsignor Liam Kelly, Administrator of Kilmore Diocese, and many of the diocesan bishops from around the country.  Archbishop Richard Clarke will represent the Church of Ireland and Rev. Louise Donald will represent the Methodist Church. They will be accompanied by members of the Cathedrals’ Partnership.  Also in attendance will be Father Michael’s parents Anthony and Nora Router, his sisters Breda Murphy and Martina Keville, his brothers-in-law Derek Murphy and Ollie Keville, his nieces Aoife Murphy, Orla Keville and Riona Keville, and his nephews Killian Murphy and Niall Keville. Each of the 61 parishes of the diocese will be represented as will many members of the Armagh Diocesan Youth Commission who will participate in the ceremony.


On 7 May last, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Father Michael Router, Parish Priest of Bailieborough (Killann) in the Diocese of Kilmore, as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Armagh, assigning to him the Titular See of Lugmad. The role of an auxiliary bishop is to assist the diocesan bishop in meeting the pastoral and administrative needs of the diocese.  The Titular See of Lugmad is an ancient episcopal see in County Louth. Previous bishops who held that title included Bishop Thomas Winning, Auxiliary Bishop and later Cardinal Archbishop of Glasgow.

The Ordination Ceremony is the culmination of several weeks of planning by people from across the diocese and will be a joyous celebration for the people of Armagh and for Father Michael and his family and friends.  Archbishop Eamon Martin will be the Principal Consecrator. Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo and Bishop Leo O’Reilly will be the co-consecrators.

Life and ministry of Bishop-elect Router

Auxiliary Bishop-elect Router is a native of Virginia in Co Cavan and was born on 15 April 1965 to Anthony and Nora Router. He has two sisters, Breda Murphy and Martina Keville. He was educated in Virginia National School and in Kells CBS before entering the national seminary of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, to study for the priesthood in 1982. In Maynooth he graduated with a Bachelor in Divinity Degree and a Higher Diploma in Education. He was ordained to the diaconate in Maynooth College by the late Bishop Francis McKiernan on 26 September 1987. He was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Kilmore by Bishop McKiernan in Saint Matthew’s Church, Maghera, in his native parish, on 25 June 1989.

Auxiliary Bishop-elect Router began his ministry as a curate in the parish of Killinkere and in 1991 joined the teaching staff of Saint Patrick’s College, Cavan. He was appointed Chaplain of Bailieborough Community School in 1996 and Priest in Residence in the Parish of Kilmainhamwood and Moybologue. In 2002/2003 he studied at Mater Dei Institute of Education in Dublin and assisted during that time in Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Drimnagh. He graduated with a Masters in Religion and Education in 2003. On his return to the Diocese of Kilmore he was appointed the Diocesan Director of Adult Faith Formation and Pastoral Renewal while also serving as a Priest in Residence in the parish of Castletara/Ballyhaise. His role included providing training, encouragement and support for Parish Pastoral Councils, Liturgy Groups, Eucharistic Ministers and Ministers of the Word. He also helped to provide Adult Religious Education courses in the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, and in Manorhamilton, which were accredited by the Mater Dei Institute of Education and the Maryvale Institute.

In 2010, in addition to these roles, Auxiliary Bishop-elect Router was appointed director of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre. In 2013 he was transferred as Curate to the Cathedral Parish in Cavan with responsibility for the Butlersbridge area. In 2014 he was appointed to his present position as Parish Priest of Killann Parish, which includes the towns of Bailieborough and Shercock, and as Dean of the Bailieborough Deanery. He was also a member of the College of Consultors of the Diocese of Kilmore and was chairman of the Diocesan Priests’ Council since 2017.

Auxiliary Bishop-elect Router’s main area of interest outside of his work has always been in sport. He played football for the Ramor United and Killinkere Gaelic Football clubs in Cavan, was a selector with the Ballyhaise’s Minor and Senior football teams from 2004 to 2012, and a football and basketball coach in Saint Patrick’s College, Cavan, and Bailieborough Community School. He maintains a keen interest in all sports, particularly in the fortunes of the Cavan Gaelic Football team and Bristol City FC.

During his time as Diocesan Director of Adult Faith Formation Auxiliary Bishop-elect Router wrote a regular column on religious matters in the Anglo-Celt and the Cavan Voice local newspapers.


Notes to editors

The Archdiocese of Armagh includes almost all of counties Armagh and Louth, approximately half of Co Tyrone and parts of counties Derry and Meath. It consists of 61 parishes and has a Catholic population of 267,803. The Diocese of Dromore includes portions of counties Antrim, Armagh and Down. It consists of 22 parishes and has a Catholic population of 63,400.

Photographs: In deference to the dignity of the liturgy and the solemnity of the occasion, the number of photographers is being restricted and access to the sanctuary and the area of the cathedra (bishop’s chair) will be strictly controlled.  The diocese has retained Mr Liam McArdle as the official photographer for the Episcopal Ordination. Images from the ordination will be available online from Sunday afternoon on or can be requested directly by calling 0044 (0) 7900 107 362.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444.