Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pope Francis appoints new Bishop of Paisley

Fr John Keenan has been appointed as the new Bishop of Paisley, filling a position that has been vacant for over a year.

The previous incumbent, Bishop Philip Tartaglia, left to become the Archbishop of Glasgow in September 2012.

Fr Keenan, who turns 50 this year, will be the Catholic Church in Scotland's youngest bishop when he is ordained on 19 March.

He admitted feeling "nervous" about his appointment but said he had been "very uplifted" and "given more confidence" by the good wishes he had received.

"Everyone I speak to says Paisley is a wonderful diocese with good priests and people full of faith," he said.

"I am looking forward to being with my brother priests, many of whom I already know really well, and getting to know the people and the parishes of the diocese. I hope just to settle in and listen a lot."

Bishop-Elect Keenan has been parish priest at St Patrick's, Anderston, for the past year and served as a chaplain at the University of Glasgow since 2000.

"I leave Glasgow with a heavy heart," he said. "I have loved my priesthood there from the very beginning and know I have family and many friends who will continue supporting me.
This is an exciting time in the Church under Pope Francis' lively leadership and I hope to put as much of his vision into my own personal life and ministry as I can. I know many people in Paisley and Glasgow will be praying for me and I thank them very much."
The installation of the new bishop will take place in St Mirin's Cathedral, Paisley on 19 March, the Feast of St Joseph.

Welcoming the appointment of his successor, Archbishop Tartaglia said Fr Keenan had been a "much-loved and respected" parish priest and an "inspirational" chaplain to Glasgow University.

"His appointment gives me a huge headache in trying to replace him. But, in the Church, when one part of the body is made stronger, the whole body benefits.

"So, in this case, Paisley's delight is Glasgow's joy, and I am certain that Fr Keenan will be a fine bishop for Paisley.

"As a former of Bishop of Paisley, I am very happy that the Diocese of Paisley now has a new bishop.

"It's a great diocese and very supportive of its bishops. Bishop-Elect John Keenan can expect a warm and heartfelt welcome throughout the diocese. I was very happy as Bishop of Paisley and I am sure he will be too."

Fr David Boyd, who has served as the administrator of the Diocese of Paisley, since the departure of Archbishop Tartaglia, said he was "absolutely delighted" by the nomination of Fr Keenan.

"Over the past seventeen months since Archbishop Tartaglia left for Glasgow we have been praying at many masses in our diocese for 'a pastor who will please you by his holiness and to show us watchful care'," he said.

"Over the past seventeen months, as administrator, I have been taken aback time and time again by the support, energy and good will of all the clergy and people of this diocese. I am certain that Bishop Elect John will also experience this and that we will hopefully make him feel at home very quickly."

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