Your Excellency Archbishop Okolo, when you honoured us by your presence here on 15 August, on the occasion of the dedication of the new altar, I told you that I looked forward to your next visit. Thank God, the day of your next visit has dawned. The powerful words of the prophet Isaiah come immediately to mind: “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news.” Your Excellency, céad mile fáilte romhat. You are most welcome.
A phobal Dé, His Excellency has indeed brought us very good news. I welcome this good news of the Holy Father’s appointment of my successor, Archbishop Francis Duffy.
Archbishop Francis, on my own behalf, on behalf of the congregation here present, on behalf of all those who join us online or on the Parish Radio, on behalf of the priests, religious, and faithful of the Archdiocese of Tuam, it is my humble privilege to congratulate you on your appointment as our new Archbishop, and to welcome you warmly to Tuam.
It has been my privilege to serve this diocese for fifty years as a priest, twenty-nine as a bishop, and for the past almost twenty-seven years as Archbishop. I know, Archbishop Francis, that the news of your appointment today will be received with enthusiasm and joy in each of the fifty-six parishes and in many places beyond. I am certain that you will receive generous assistance and support from people in every corner of the Archdiocese, as I have received it, and I will also support and assist you in every way I can as you exercise your important ministry as Pastor of this particular church.
Archbishop Francis, since your appointment as Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois in 2013, you and I have worked closely together as members of the Bishops’ Conference. Of your many gifts, your reputation as a hard-working, kind and generous pastoral leader – as well as being a popular bishop amongst your priests and people – precedes you. Today, on a personal level, I pray for God’s blessing on your future ministry as Archbishop of Tuam.
Ó thaobh ceantracha gaeltachta na hÁrd-deoise, agus ó thaobh muintir na gaeltachta de, bíonn áit lárnach dóibh í gcónaí í gcroí an Árdeaspaig. Táim cinnte, a Árdeaspaig Uí Dhufaigh, go bhfaighidh tú fíor chaoin fáilte uathu am ar bith a théann tú siar, agus táim cinnte freisin, go dtiocfaidh tú abhaile neartaithe agus le hárdu chroí tar éis castáil leo.
Archbishop Francis, it is in a spirit of humble gratitude to God, and with the greatest of personal pleasure, that I welcome you to Tuam. “May the Lord who has begun this good work in you bring it to completion.” May the Lord bless you and may Our Lady of Knock and Saint Jarlath be always close to you.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm +353 (0) 87 310 4444.