Bishop Michael Duignan, who will be the new Bishop of Galway and also continue as Bishop of Clonfert. Photo: John McElroy).

Pope Francis appoints new Bishop of Galway

The announcement was made at Mass in Galway Cathedral

Bishop will be over Diocese of Galway and Diocese of Clonfert

A NEW Bishop of Galway has been appointed by Pope Francis.

Bishop Michael Duignan, the current Bishop of Clonfert, will replace retiring Bishop of Galway Brendan Kelly. In a pastoral change, Bishop Kelly will jointly administer the Dioceses of Galway and Clonfert.

The Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora includes portions of counties Galway, Mayo and Clare while the Diocese of Clonfert includes portions of counties Galway, Offaly and Roscommon.

The announcement was made at 11am Mass this morning in Galway Cathedral in which Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, was chief celebrant. Bishop Duignan and Bishop Kelly concelebrated the Mass.

Bishop Duignan is a native of Athlone and was ordained to the priesthood in 1994. He has been involved over the years in numerous adult faith formation programmes, training programmes for ministry, formation of catechists, youth ministry programmes and formation of school chaplains and teachers of religious education.

He was ordained Bishop of Clonfert in October 2019, succeeding Bishop John Kirby.

Speaking at Mass this morning, Bishop Duignan noted that today marks the anniversary of Bishop Kelly’s installation as Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora.

“I do not think we should let a day like today go by without recording the debt of gratitude the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora and indeed the Diocese of Achonry owe to you for your many years of faithful service as a priest and bishop.

"I would also like to acknowledge your contribution at a national level as part of the Episcopal Conference and in particular your work in the area of Catholic Education. Retirement will not fully come for a while yet, but when it does finally come, Bishop Brendan, you deserve it. I hope you will forgive me if I interrupt now and again for a bit of advice. I am sure all here, wish you all God’s blessings for a healthy and happy future.”

The Catholic Communications Office has stated that having one Bishop over both dioceses is not an amalgamation. Instead of each diocese having its own respective bishop, one sole bishop exercises the pastoral governance of both dioceses equally. Each diocese maintains its identity and handles its own cultural heritage as it deems fit. Each keeps its own personnel or can share with other dioceses; priests will not normally be asked to minister beyond their own diocese unless by a special request or mandate. Each diocese will handle its financial administration independently and will make its own pastoral decisions as usual.