Fr Ray Browne ordained as Bishop of Kerry
Bishop urges congregation to remember those struggling through ‘difficult economic times’
The ordination of Bishop Raymond Browne was attended by 1,200 guests in Co Kerry today. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times
Father Ray Browne was ordained today as Bishop of Kerry in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney.
The 56-year-old is a graduate of St Patrick’s College Maynooth and of the Gregorian University in Rome where he studied canon law.
He was appointed by Pope Francis to succeed the serving Bishop of Kerry Dr Bill Murphy, who has served almost two years beyond his retirement.
A native of Athlone, Co Westmeath, Fr Browne was ordained in 1982. He has been parish priest of Kilgefin, Co Roscommon, since 2008, and has also been diocesan designate for safeguarding children in that period.
He has also served as a parish priest in Sligo.
In his ordination speech, Bishop Browne said it was a joyous occasion but urged the congregation to “remember those in our communities who this day are struggling — be it with unemployment, or financial difficulties, or the reality of a recent tragedy, or some serious illness, or depression or addiction”.
He said Irish people were living in “very difficult economic times”, and it is “by no means certain that good times will soon return”.
The ordination was attended by over 1,200 guests. The principal ordaining bishop was Archbishop Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, assisted by the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles J Brown and Bishop Bill Murphy, Bishop of Kerry.
The ordination was concelebrated by Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.
The homily was preached by Father Séamus O’Connell, Professor of Sacred Scripture at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
The diocese of Kerry has a Catholic population of over 144,000 people, comprising of 53 parishes and 111 churches.