It was made known to parishioners in the Parish of Carrickmacross and to the clergy of the Diocese this past weekend that Monsignor Joseph McGuinness PP, VG, Carrickmacross and Adm, Magheracloone, has been appointed to the post of Executive Secretary of the Irish Episcopal Conference. He will take up this appointment early in the New Year.
Writing to the clergy of the diocese this weekend, Bishop Larry Duffy said ‘I take this opportunity to congratulate Monsignor McGuinness on his appointment to this important ministry in the Church in Ireland. I thank him for his outstanding service to date in our Diocese and know that you will all join with me in wishing him every blessing in his new role.’ Bishop Duffy added that Monsignor McGuinness will continue, as a priest of the Diocese of Clogher, to assist and support the life and work of the diocese in whatever ways are possible.
Monsignor McGuinness informed parishioners of his new appointment at Masses in the Parish of Carrickmacross (Machaire Rois) this weekend. He said that it is in the nature of priestly vocation to respond to the call to serve. He said that there were times when a call came unexpectedly and involved leaving behind a community where a priest had been building relationships and becoming part of vibrant faith community. ‘This always involves a degree of sadness, and this is especially so for me, given the warmth of welcome and the generosity of support which I have received from the people of Carrickmacross, Corduff, Raferagh, and Magheracloone’, he said.
Continuing, Monsignor McGuinness said: ‘I am deeply grateful for the many kindnesses afforded to me by the people of these parishes. I have greatly enjoyed my time as Parish Priest and Administrator and will continue to hold the parishes and their people in great affection. Although my time here has not been as long as I had hoped, I am blessed to have many happy memories to take with me.’
Monsignor Joseph McGuinness is a native of Lisnaskea (Aghalurcher parish), Co Fermanagh. He was educated at St Michael’s College, Enniskillen, Queens University Belfast and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth before being ordained a priest in 1984. He pursued post-graduate studies in liturgy and sacramental theology at the Institut Catholique, Paris and completed teacher training in St Mary’s University College, Belfast. He was appointed to the staff of St Michael’s College in Enniskillen as a teacher of religion, science and music in 1988. He was President of the College from 2000 until 2006 after which he was appointed Parish Priest of Enniskillen in 2007. In 2010 Bishop Liam MacDaid appointed Mgr McGuinness as Diocesan Secretary, Chancellor of the Diocese and Administrator of the Parish of Tyholland, Co Monaghan. Following Bishop MacDaid’s retirement on health grounds in October 2016, Mgr McGuinness was appointed Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Clogher, a post he held until the ordination of Bishop Larry Duffy in February 2019. In that capacity, he attended the various meetings of the Bishops’ Conference and other assemblies at national, regional and international levels. Mgr McGuinness also chaired the Council for Liturgy of the Irish Episcopal Conference from 2017 until 2019. Since February 2019 he has been Parish Priest of Carrickmacross and Administrator of Magheracloone, Co Monaghan, in addition to being one of the Vicars General of the Diocese of Clogher.
The Executive Secretary is responsible for organising how the work of the Bishops’ Conference is prepared, arranged and carried out. He ensures that the Secretariat is at the service of the Bishops’ Conference and its members. The Executive Secretary works under the direction of the President and Episcopal Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference. He also supports the representation of the Conference at international level, when required.