Statement of welcome by Monsignor Michael Ryan, Diocesan Administrator, on the occasion of the announcement that Pope Francis has appointed Mgr Dermot Farrell to be the next Bishop of Ossory.
On behalf of our retired Bishop Séamus Freeman and Bishop Laurence Forristal and on behalf of the priests, religious and people of our Diocese I am very happy and honoured to welcome Mgr Dermot Farrell to our Diocese this morning. On this the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, we rejoice in the news that Pope Francis has chosen for us a man of Dermot’s ability to lead our Diocese as our Bishop. This morning we offer to you our support and loyalty as you generously take on this new ministry. I am confident that you will find here among us not only a warm welcome but an enthusiastic commitment to the promotion of the Good News of the Gospel as we journey together in the years ahead.
As a man with much proven leadership and great pastoral experience I have no doubt that Pope Francis has chosen for us a spiritual leader capable of leading our Diocese into the future. We have prayed for some months now that a priest with a vision for our future could be found, I give thanks today for the fruits of that prayer.
As you begin your new ministry I hope that you will find some of the familiar here too. In truth, Ossory has some long standing links with your home diocese, the Diocese of Meath. I can recall in the 1960s, seven newly ordained priests for the Diocese of Meath spent three or four years here in various parishes in the Diocese of Ossory. In more recent years seven of the present parish priests of your diocese were ordained in St Kieran’s College. I trust that they speak well of their time here with us. I know also that you will find among us some familiar faces from your days in Maynooth. I pray that these links, and the many friendships you will form with us, will be a support to you as you now make Ossory your home.
Since Bishop Freeman’s retirement it has been my honour and responsibility to serve as Diocesan Administrator. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who supported me in that work. Firstly, the people of the parish of Castlecomer for their understanding and patience and for their prayerful support. I also thank Bishop Freeman and Bishop Forristal for their guidance and encouragement. I thank the priests and religious of the Diocese for their inspiring commitment to their many ministries and also for their energetic support for the work of the Diocese. Finally, I thank those who worked closest with me, the staff at the Diocesan Office and the many people on various diocesan committees. I thank them for their loyalty and support.
The people of Ossory in our parishes, schools, homes and communities work each day to bring to life the faith we profess. I am constantly encouraged by the strength and depth of that faith. I know that this too will be a great support to Mgr Farrell as he lives out his ministry among us. May St Kieran, St Canice and the Apostles you succeed, guide and support you in your work with us and may God direct you always.
Mgr Michael Ryan, Diocesan Administrator.
3rd January 2018