The Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of the Diocese of Derry, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Down and Connor with immediate effect, from today, Saturday 21 January 2023.
In response to the announcement of Bishop McKeown’s appointment, Archbishop Noel Treanor said, “I warmly welcome the appointment this morning, by Pope Francis, of Bishop Donal McKeown as Apostolic Administrator of Down and Connor, pending the appointment of a new bishop to Down and Connor.
“Bishop McKeown brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this appointment having already served the people, priests and religious of Down and Connor as a priest (1977-2001) and as Auxiliary Bishop (2001-2014). It was an honour to have worked closely with Bishop Donal when I first arrived in this diocese in 2008. As an auxiliary, Bishop Donal was strongly committed to the fields of education, youth ministry, the Living Church project and I highly valued his insightful guidance and his advice. I know that he will bring these same skills to his governance of the diocese, a responsibility he will carry alongside remaining Bishop of the Diocese of Derry.
“As I take leave from the diocese, I entrust Bishop Donal to the warmth and care of those whom I have had the privilege to know and serve over the last 14 years, and I know that they will welcome him back as they embraced me upon my arrival. I pray God’s blessing on Bishop Donal as he generously takes up this ministry and service within the Diocese of Down and Connor.”