10th January 2013
Your Excellency, Archbishop Brown, Papal Nuncio, my brother priests, religious, people of the diocese.
It is my great privilege and honour and as Diocesan Administrator to welcome you to St John’s Cathedral this morning and to inform you that the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Fr Brendan Leahy to be the next Bishop of the Diocese of Limerick.
The priests and people of the diocese have been waiting expectantly for this day.
I have no doubt that this news of Fr Brendan Leahy’s appointment to the see of Limerick will be received with great joy throughout the diocese and I extend to him on behalf of the priests and people of the diocese a céad míle fáilte.
Fr Brendan Leahy is a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin whom we welcome among us today as one of our own.
Fr Brendan Leahy is currently Professor of Systematic Theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, a renowned Theologian and Ecumenist, with a wealth of pastoral experience including specific ministry to young people.
Fr Brendan Leahy’s appointment as our Bishop and Shepherd comes at a time of great challenge. But every challenge presents us with a new opportunity to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel.
In the Gospel for the Mass of today we hear that Jesus:
“Stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.”
Today our eyes are fixed on Fr Brendan Leahy and we pray for him that the Spirit of the Lord will be given to him, so that he will fulfil his ministry of proclaiming the Good News to the people of this diocese.
In Limerick Fr Brendan Leahy will find dedicated priests, committed religious and enthusiastic lay men and women, young and not so young, who welcome him warmly today and who are eager to be his co-workers in the vineyard of the Lord.
I ask the good people of Limerick to pray for our new bishop in the days and weeks ahead as he prepares for the most important undertaking of his life, namely being Bishop of Limerick.