Sunday, May 19, 2024

Pope Francis appoints Irish priest as new Papal Nuncio to South Sudan

New Appointment for Monsignor Seamus Horgan - Ennis Parish

AN Irish priest has been appointed by Pope Francis as the new Papal Nuncio to South Sudan.

Monsignor Séamus Horgan, who hails from Ennis in County Clare, was appointed to the ambassadorial position by the Pope last Tuesday (May 14).

He will be based in the city of Juba.

A native of Tobarteascáin near St. Flannan’s College, where he completed his secondary schooling, Monsignor Horgan entered St Patrick’s College Maynooth in 1987 before being ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Michael Harty in 1994 at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Ennis.

He is currently First Counsellor at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington D.C. and has previously held Diplomatic Service of the Holy See rolls in Uganda, Switzerland, The Philippines and Italy.

The Diocese of Killaloe has welcomed the news of his new role, which also sees him appointed to the titular See of Árd Sratha - Ardstraw, County Tyrone.

“I warmly congratulate Monsignor Séamus Horgan on his appointment by Pope Francis to be Nuncio to South Sudan,” Bishop of Killaloe, Dr Fintan Monahan, said.

"Monsignor Horgan brings a wealth of pastoral and practical experience with him to his new role,” he added.

“A conscientious, diligent and prayerful pastor, his engagement with people is marked with great kindness and courtesy.

“He served with distinction in his appointments at local level in Bodyke and Roscrea in the diocese and in his various appointments since he entered the diplomatic service.”

There are currently three Apostolic Nuncios who are originally from Ireland in active diplomatic service abroad for the Catholic Church.

Two of them hail from the Diocese of Killaloe.

"I wish Monsignor Horgan every good wish and blessing in his important role and assure him of the prayers of the faithful of Killaloe Diocese,” Bishop Monahan said before adding that “here in Killaloe we are very proud of the fact that two [current Apostolic Nuncios] are natives of our diocese”.

Father Iggy McCormack, who is principal of St Flannan’s College, said Monsignor’s Horgan’s episcopal appointment was a “tremendous honour” for him and for their school.

“We are very proud of what he has achieved in his ministry to date during which time he has served as Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciatures in Kampala, Berne and Manila, as well as working at the Secretariat of State in Rome from 2015 to 2020 before assuming his current role in the United States,” he said.

“This is the first time in many decades that a Papal Nuncio has emanated from our alumni.

“The students and staff of St Flannan’s College wish Monsignor Séamus the very best for the future,” he added.

Following six years of pastoral ministry in the Diocese of Killaloe, Monsignor Séamus Horgan was sent to Rome 2000 for further studies.

After completing a Licence in Canon Law, he joined the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome to prepare for the service of the Holy See.

In 2008 he was appointed a Chaplain of His Holiness and in 2019 a Prelate of Honour.

Monsignor Horgan speaks English, Italian & French and has a working knowledge of German.