Pope Benedict XVI has appointed an Irish Franciscan missionary to lead a diocese of nearly 400,000 Catholics in Honduras.
Fr Michael Lenihan, a native of Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, will head up the newly-formed Diocese of Le Ceiba in the Central American nation.
He was ordained a member of the Franciscan Order (OFM) in 1980 and has spent his ministry working in pastoral care in Ireland and El Salvador before moving to Honduras.
The new diocese has a Catholic population of 398,800 and the new bishop will have just 22 priests and 32 religious to assist him in the care of the vast diocese meaning an average of 18,127 Catholics per priest compared with many Irish dioceses where the ratio is usually between 500-2,000 Catholics per priest.