Pope Francis has appointed Tuam-based priest Fr Fintan Monahan as the new Bishop of Killaloe.
The announcement was made in Rome this morning. The Pontiff has also accepted the resignations of Bishop Martin Drennan of Galway and Bishop Seamus Freeman of Ossory – both for reasons of ill health.
Bishop-elect Monahan (49) was ordained in 1991.
While studying for the H.Dip. in Education in Galway he was curate in An Tulach, Baile na hAbhann, Conamara from 1992-1993. From 1993-2006 he taught Science, Irish and Religion at the diocesan college, Saint Jarlath’s College in Tuam, along with coaching basketball and hurling.
In 2006 Archbishop Michael Neary appointed him chaplain to Saint Jarlath’s College and diocesan secretary. During that time he also worked in the areas of communications and vocations promotion and served as editor of the Tuam Diocesan Magazine, New Dawn. In recent years he joined the Communications Council of the Irish bishops’ conference.
Welcoming the appointment, Archbishop Neary said, “Fr Fintan is a man of deep faith, integrity and humility, someone who radiates a great love for and joy in priesthood. All those qualities are very much appreciated by those to whom he ministers. He brings great qualities of generosity, wholesomeness and leadership to his new responsibility.”
Meanwhile, Bishop Seamus Freeman has thanked Pope Francis for accepting his resignation as Bishop of Ossory due to ill health. Dr Freeman suffered a stroke in September 2013.
“It was my hope that I would continue my episcopal service until the retirement age of 75 years. However, due to ill health, for some time now I have found my ministry as bishop to be somewhat of a challenge. Therefore after prayerful reflection and with a sense of sadness, I came to my decision to retire, as I have been very happy and blessed amongst you, the good people, priests and religious of the Diocese of Ossory,” he said in a statement.
“With God’s help, I am confident that I have made the right decision,” he said. Dr Freeman is 72.
Bishop Martin Drennan (72) is also stepping down from his leadership of the Dioceses of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora upon medical advice.
A short statement from the Catholic Communications Office confirmed that “His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of Most Reverend Martin Drennan, Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh, and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora, on grounds of ill health and on medical advice.”