Ireland’s first Jesuit bishop ordained

Archbishop Eamon Martin says conversation needed in Ireland about ‘good life’

Archbishop Eamon Martin said we needed to have conversations in Ireland about what constitutes a “good life” and a “flourishing life”. Photograph: Getty Images

Archbishop Eamon Martin said we needed to have conversations in Ireland about what constitutes a “good life” and a “flourishing life”. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Ireland’s first Jesuit bishop was ordained at the Cathedral of Saints Eunan and Columba in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, on Sunday. Bishop Alan McGuckian (64) will lead the Catholic diocese of Raphoe.

Speaking at his ordination, Archbishop Eamon Martin said we needed to have conversations in Ireland about what constitutes a “good life” and a “flourishing life”, not just for individuals but also for communities.

The archbishop said President Michael D Higgins’s recent “Ethics Initiative”, a project to stimulate discussion on the challenges of living ethically, had “identified the need for a debate in contemporary Ireland about what ethical values and principles we want to uphold and strengthen”.

“The engagement of people of faith together with all people of good will in such conversations is to be encouraged and welcomed,” he said.

The archbishop also highlighted the upcoming launch of the new Irish translation of the missal.

He said Bishop McGuckian’s “respect for the Irish language” would be invaluable. “I would be very pleased if more parishes, not just those in the Gaeltacht, could introduce regular Sunday worship in our native language.”

Bishop McGuckian, who was born in Cloughmills, Co Antrim, developed a deep interest in the Irish language following a visit to Donegal as a teenager. The youngest of six siblings, he is one of three brothers who are Jesuit priests .

Following studies at UCD, Queen’s University Belfast, the Milltown Institute in Dublin and the School of Theology in Toronto, he was ordained in 1984.

For the past six years he has been working with Down and Connor diocese in the Living Church project, which heard from the priests, religious and laity in all of its 87 parishes.

Listen willingly

Archbishop Martin described the bishop’s contribution to the project as “significant”, and said it demonstrated he could “listen willingly and bring out the best in others”.

“I am confident that you will encourage the lay faithful, religious and priests of the diocese to work closely with you,” he said.

As chief ordaining prelate, Archbishop Martin was assisted by Bishop Philip Boyce and Bishop Noel Treanor. Cardinal Séan Brady was in attendance, as was Archbishop of Ottawa, Terence Prendergast SJ, who read the Gospel, and Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam.

Concelebrants included 13 Irish bishops, Monsignor Piotr Tarnawski, chargé d’affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature in Ireland, Father Leonard Moloney SJ, provincial of the Society of Jesus in Ireland, and Bishop McGuckian’s two brothers: Fr Bernard McGuckian SJ and Fr Michael McGuckian SJ.