Down and Connor welcomes Bishop McGuckian

Down and Connor welcomes Bishop McGuckian Bishop Alan McGuckian is pictured outside St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast, after being installed as bishop of Down and Connor. Photo: Peter Thomas.

Alan McGuckian SJ was installed as the new bishop of Down and Connor diocese in St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast, on April 14.

The former bishop of Raphoe was welcomed to the North’s most populous diocese by a full house at the cathedral.

Bishop McGuckian took the opportunity to call on the North’s assembly to be “bold” after Stormont’s restart.

“We will be channels of peace in our world,” Bishop McGuckian said in his homily.

“We will reach out confidently in love, with our brothers and sisters of other Christian communions, and together we will encourage our local politicians to be generous and bold as they seek to make our political institutions work for the good of all.”

Dr McGuckian said that there are many challenges to peace, including “our own personal history, the terrible pain and misery of so many people in our world or the sad state of the Church”.

On a global level, the witness of Christians who are “channels of peace” is needed today as the escalation of war is “an awful threat”, he added.

Bishop McGuckian said he is excited to be part of the diocese as it charts a pathway to the future.

“I hope to spend a lot of time in the coming weeks and months praying and discerning with you, the priests and people of the diocese, how and where the Lord is leading us,” he said.