His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed the Right Reverend Monsignor Larry Duffy, Parish Priest of Carrickmacross and Administrator of the Parish of Magheracloone (a priest of the Diocese of Clogher), as the new Bishop of Clogher.
This news of the appointment was made public at 12.00 noon today in the Vatican (11.00am Irish time) and also before the celebration of the 11.00am Mass in St Joseph’s Church, Carrickmacross. His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, was the chief celebrant of the Mass. Also in attendance were the Administrator of the Diocese of Clogher, Mgr Joseph McGuinness, and both Bishops-emeritus of the diocese – Bishop Liam S. MacDaid who retired in 2016 and Bishop Joseph Duffy who retired in 2010 after a ministry of thirty-one years.
Welcoming the Papal Nuncio, the Diocesan Administrator, Mgr McGuinness recalled that the diocese had been well served over the past forty years by Bishops MacDaid and Duffy and that it was an honour for him to administer the diocese since October 2016. He said that the news which the nuncio brought to them was news of great joy and something that the priests and people of the diocese had been waiting to hear for a long time. Commenting afterwards, Mgr McGuinness warmly welcomed the appointment of Mgr Duffy. He congratulated the Bishop-elect, assuring him of the prayers and support of all the priests, religious and laity of the diocese. ‘Bishop-elect Duffy brings to this new ministry the experience of a lifetime of priestly pastoral care for people both here in Ireland and in Kenya. He is renowned across the diocese for his ability to connect with people, to care for them and to know them. Everywhere he has been, he is remembered with great affection. The diocese has gained a very worthy shepherd’, he said.
Response of Bishop-elect Duffy:
Speaking following the announcement of his appointment by Pope Francis, Bishop-elect Duffy said:
‘It is my privilege to welcome the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo to Carrickmacross today. He comes with news that will surprise many, and which came as a shock to me when first mentioned.
‘Mary our Mother is the focus of today’s feast. Mary, full of grace. A mother who accepts responsibility with humility and faith; who says: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me.” (Luke 1:38). Mary has been my companion and guide in recent days as I pondered the invitation to serve the Diocese of Clogher in a new role.
When I got the Nuncio’s call, I, like Mary, was deeply disturbed and asked what the greeting could mean. After much prayer, reflection and words of encouragement, and in spite of my own limitations and weaknesses, I too say to God: “let what you have said be done to me”!
‘I am greatly encouraged by the presence of the Bishops-emeritus and priests here today. I thank you all for coming. The years of dedicated and generous service given by Bishop Joseph Duffy and Bishop Liam MacDaid is a model for me. I thank Monsignor Joseph McGuinness, Diocesan Administrator, for his encouragement and support, especially in recent days.
‘To work with the priests and all the people of the diocese is what this call is all about. Departing Carrickmacross parish will be sad. I thank the people here for their love, understanding and support over the past five years. You will always be close to my heart.
‘Finally, my one wish and request is that you pray for me. May God’s kingdom come through our efforts and the grace of God.‘
Biography of Bishop-elect Duffy
Bishop-elect Larry Duffy, who has been Parish Priest of Carrickmacross since 2013, is a native of the neighbouring Parish of Magheracloone where he was born to the late Thomas and Elizabeth Duffy in November 1951. He has three surviving siblings – Anna, Patrick and Peter, his other brother Brendan having died two years ago. Having completed his studies for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Carlow, Mgr Duffy was ordained in St Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan in 1976 by Bishop Patrick Mulligan – himself also a former Parish Priest of Carrickmacross. Since then he has served in various parishes of the Diocese of Clogher including Enniskillen, Castleblayney, Monaghan & Rackwallace, Ederney, Clones and Carrickmacross. In addition, he also spent four years working in the Diocese of Kitui in Kenya. During that time, he helped to lead the building of a church in Mwingi. He was Vicar General of the Diocese of Clogher from 2013 until the retirement of Bishop MacDaid in 2016.
A former player with Magheracloone Mitchells GAA, Bishop-elect Duffy is also an avid GAA fan and a keen golfer.
Statement by Bishop Liam S. MacDaid, Bishop-Emeritus of Clogher
‘The people and priests of the Diocese of Clogher will have good reason to remember the Feast of the Immaculate Conception 2018. They rejoice today as they hear that Pope Francis has favoured them by naming as bishop one of their own, Monsignor Larry Duffy, PP of Carrickmacross. They pray that God will continue to inspire him to lead his people in loving God and neighbour, which he has done so generously and loyally over forty years of priestly ministry.’
Statement by Bishop Joseph Duffy, Bishop-Emeritus of Clogher
‘I have no doubt that the choice of Monsignor Larry Duffy to be Bishop of Clogher will be most welcome throughout the diocese and an occasion of joy and uplift of spirit for all who know him.
‘He has served with distinction in all areas of our diocese – Enniskillen, Ederney, Castleblayney, Monaghan, Clones, and finally Carrickmacross. He volunteered for a four-year term in Kitui in Kenya where, again, his generous and wholehearted pastoral care was much admired and appreciated.
‘As a former colleague of his, years ago in Enniskillen, and as his Bishop for many years, I have always been impressed by his natural wisdom, his keen sense of spiritual priorities, his marvellous sense of humour and humility and his courage in confronting problems. He works easily with others and has no illusions about the pastoral challenges facing the Irish and universal Church today.’
Statement by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland:
Archbishop Eamon Martin said, ‘I warmly welcome the appointment by Pope Francis of Monsignor Larry Duffy as Bishop of Clogher.
‘Bishop-elect Larry will bring to his role a wealth of pastoral experience having ministered in various parishes – both North and South – in the diocese. As Clogher is one of our neighbouring dioceses within the metropolitan province of Armagh, I personally look forward to working very closely with him at a local level. I have no doubt that Bishop-elect Larry will also bring his keen sense of pastoral priorities to bear on our discussions at the Bishops’ Conference, including the benefit of experience and wider perspective gained during his missionary placement in Kenya.
‘I offer every blessing and good wish today to the people, religious and priests of the Diocese of Clogher. In a special way I pay tribute to Monsignor Joseph McGuinness for his commitment and dedication as Diocesan Administrator since the retirement of Bishop Liam MacDaid in October 2016. During this time Monsignor Joe has contributed greatly to the discussions and work of the Bishops’ Conference, not least as chairman of our Council for Liturgy. May God continue to bless his ministry into the future.
“On this beautiful Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I pray that Mary, our Blessed Mother, will watch over and guide Bishop-elect Larry in his new calling. I offer my prayerful good wishes also to his family, friends and to all the faithful of the thirty-seven parishes of Clogher.’
Statement by the Rt Rev’d John McDowell, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Clogher.
‘I have just learned that Monsignor Lawrence Duffy, currently serving as Parish Priest of Carrickmacross, has been appointed by His Holiness the Pope to be the next Roman Catholic Bishop of Clogher. I want to congratulate Monsignor Duffy on his appointment and assure him of my prayers and those of his many friends within the Church of Ireland community. I share the joy of my brothers and sisters in Christ, the Catholic clergy and people of Clogher, that they have a Chief Shepherd to lead them in the years ahead. It is a double blessing that a priest of Clogher Diocese has been chosen to continue to serve the people who he knows and loves. No doubt there will be special rejoicing in Magheracloone that a son of the parish has been called into this vocation.
‘I look forward to working with the new Bishop in the same spirit of friendship and service as I was fortunate enough to share with his predecessor Bishop Liam MacDaid and pray that Monsignor Duffy will know the presence of the Lord as he prepares for his episcopal ordination”. Deo gratias.’
Statement from the Parish of Culmaine, Co Fermanagh:
The Parishioners and Parish Priest, Fr Frank McManus, of the Parish of Culmaine (Ederney) warmly welcome the announcement that our former Parish Priest, Right Reverend Monsignor Larry Duffy, has been appointed to be ordained the new Bishop of Clogher.
We remember with great affection his ministry with us from 2003-2007 as a time during which our Parish life flourished and strong laity involvement developed. His ministry was also marked with great compassion and humanity.
We wish Monsignor Larry God’s grace and wisdom in his new role as Bishop of Clogher and we look forward to welcoming him back as our Bishop in the not too distant future.
Fr Frank McManus PP Veronica Baird, Chairperson, Parish Together.
Statement from the Parish of Muckno (Castleblayney / Oram)
News of Great Joy !
The priests and people of the parish of Muckno welcome the news delivered by the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Jude Okolo, that Pope Francis has chosen Mgr Larry Duffy Parish Priest of Carrickmacross to be the new Bishop of Clogher.
In this time of Advent we are conscious of the theme of a period of waiting leading to the joy-filled news of the birth of Jesus Christ. Our period of waiting for a Bishop following the early retirement of our beloved Bishop Liam Mac Daid, has now been ended with the wonderful news that Fr Larry has been chosen as our new Shepherd.
Fr Larry ministered in our parish from 1978 to 1995 and his gentleness and sensitivity to the pastoral care of the people has left an indelible mark on our community.
As a faith community who have seen his ministry at first hand, we join with the people of the parishes of Enniskillen, Monaghan, Ederney, Clones and Carrickmacross, and with the people of the Diocese of Kitui, in asking God’s blessing on Fr Larry, and we pray he may be given health and contentment as he leads our Diocese in the coming years.
Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-Elect Duffy:
The episcopal ordination of Bishop-Elect Duffy will take place in St Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan on Sunday 10 February 2019 at 3pm. Further details will be announced later.