21 Jan 2022

Ordination of new Bishop of Raphoe takes place tomorrow

Monsignor Alan McGuckian, SJ, will become Ireland's first Jesuit bishop

Ordination of new Bishop of Raphoe takes place tomorrow

The Cathedral of Saints Eunan and Columba in Letterkenny.

Monsignor Alan McGuckian will be ordained as the new Bishop of Raphoe during a ceremony in the Cathedral of Saints Eunan and Columba at 3pm tomorrow, Sunday.

The Chief Ordaining Prelate will be Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, who will be assisted by Bishop Philip Boyce, OCD, Bishop Emeritus of Raphoe, and Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor.
Admission is by ticket only due to limited space at St Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny.

Bishop McGuckian will greet members of the congregation in person following the conclusion of the Mass.

Archbishop Terence Prendergast SJ, Archbishop of Ottawa, will read the Gospel. Other clergy concelebrating the Mass will be: Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam; Bishop Michael Smith of Meath; Bishop John Kirby of Clonfert; Bishop Leo O’Reilly of Kilmore; Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore; Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry; Bishop Brendan Kelly of Achonry; Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick; Bishop Raymond Browne of Kerry; Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin; Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin; Bishop Patrick Walsh, Bishop Emeritus of Down and Connor; Bishop Donal Murray, Bishop Emeritus of Limerick; Bishop Anthony Farquhar, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Down & Connor; Monsignor Michael Ryan, Diocesan Administrator of Ossory; Monsignor Joseph McGuinness, Diocesan Administrator of Clogher; and, Monsignor Piotr Tarnawski, Chargé d’Affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature in Ireland.

Also concelebrating the Ordination Mass will Father Leonard Moloney SJ, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Ireland; Bishop-elect McGuckian’s two brothers: Father Bernard McGuckian SJ and Father Michael McGuckian SJ; priests of the Diocese of Raphoe and religious clergy located within and without the diocese.

Representatives of other Christian denominations are also expected to be in attendance.

Also in attendance at the Mass will be family and friends of Bishop-elect McGuckian; local and national public representatives from the constituency; representatives of church groups from the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, and representative of civic society.

Music for the ceremony will be performed by the choir of Saint Eunan’s Cathedral, including choir members of the 33 parishes of the diocese under the direction of Father Michael Carney PP.

Monsignor Alan McGuckian, SJ

The bishop elect will become Ireland’s first Jesuit bishop.

Speaking at the announcement of his appointment in June, Monsignor McGuckian said he would feel at home in Donegal.

“I am a North Antrim man, but I am actually a native speaker of Ulster Scots. I have a sense that there are those in east Donegal whose English will sound very familiar to me – and that will be music to my ears.

“West Donegal and the Gaeltacht areas will be like a Shangri-La for me, where I will feel very much at home.

“When I was told that I was to be a bishop, that was a big thing. A few seconds later, I learned that I was to be Bishop of Raphoe and I knew I would feel at home.

“I know a lot of Donegal and I know a lot of the parishes. There are a lot that I don’t know, but I am praying for them all every day – and I will be for the rest of my life.”

The diocese has a Catholic population of 83,050 and consists of 33 parishes and 71 churches. There are 56 diocesan priests in active ministry in the diocese and 19 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 10 priests, two Brothers and 30 Sisters. The Bishop of Raphoe is patron of 100 primary schools, and there are 20 voluntary secondary schools and State schools in the diocese.

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