Sunday, May 12, 2024

Limerick bishop to return home following his retirement

POPE Francis has accepted the resignation of the Limerick-born Bishop of Killala, John Fleming, who will now retire to his native county.

Bishop Fleming made the decision on the grounds of age. The 76-year-old Ardpatrick man's return home from Connacht is good news for Bishop Brendan Leahy due to the shortage of priests.

“While I will be fully retired I am happy to help out in any way that I can both the Bishop of Limerick and the priests responsible for pastoral area number nine, where I will live,” said Bishop Fleming, who added that he is looking forward to being back after many years in Rome, Mayo and Sligo.

Many tributes have been paid to Bishop Fleming including from Archbishop Eamon Martin following his retirement.

“Bishop John is one of the longest serving bishops in Ireland and has remained completely committed to his vocation and pastoral duties and responsibilities in a wide variety of roles,” said Archbishop Martin.

These roles included secretary to Bishop Jeremiah Newman in the 1970s and he worked in St Michael’s Parish, Denmark Street, Limerick city following his ordination on June 18, 1972.

Bishop Fleming was chaplain to the Christian Brothers and Presentation Sisters communities in Sexton Street while secretary to Bishop Newman.

He was appointed to the Irish College in Rome and later became president of the Irish College with the title of monsignor.

After Bishop Fleming returned to Ireland he was appointed parish priest of St Mary’s Parish, Athlunkard Street. He was only three three weeks there when he was appointed Bishop of Killala.

His last ordination for the Killala Diocese was coincidentally another Limerick man, Gerard Moore. Bishop Fleming also wrote the History of Ardpatrick Parish.