ORDINATION AS AUXILIARY BISHOP OF DOWN & CONNOR OF
RT REV. DONAL McKEOWN
ST PETER’S CATHEDRAL, BELFAST
29 APRIL, 2001
ADDRESS OF WELCOME BY CARDINAL SEÁN BRADY
PRESIDENT, IRISH BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE
Your Eminences, Your Excellency, Bishop Donal, Sisters and Brothers in Christ.
I gladly welcome Bishop Donal McKeown into the ranks of the Irish Bishops’ Conference. I warmly congratulate him on his appointment. The presence of so many bishops here this afternoon indicates our delight at the news of his nomination. I congratulate his mother, brother, sister and all the family on this great occasion.
In his homily Bishop Walsh has already assured his new Auxiliary Bishop of the support and loyalty of the priests, religious and faithful people of Down & Connor. I want to assure him of the support and confidence of his brother bishops.
We have heard in the rite of ordination that bishops are called to give leadership. I have known Donal since 1975. It was a Holy Year. He was then a seminarian at the Irish College, Rome. I remember how each week over the year he gave generously of his time and energy to help Irish pilgrims give praise to God in the Basilica of St John Lateran. Many of those pilgrims were loud in their praise of his wonderful proclaiming of the Scriptures in word and song. The signs of leadership potential were already to be seen.
Since then of course he has given outstanding service and leadership in St Patrick’s, Knock, St Macnissi’s, St Malachy’s, and in many other areas of the life of the Church. The experience will stand him in good stead now as he is called to take his place alongside Bishop Farquhar in assisting Bishop Walsh in the pastoral and spiritual leadership of the Diocese of Down & Connor.
Today there is rejoicing not just in Randalstown, not just from Rathlin Island to Carlingford Lough, but especially in Killossy, the Titular See of the new Auxiliary Bishop.
Our prayers are with you Donal as you begin a new chapter of your life of service to the Church. We look forward to working with you in the Conference and especially to the valuable contribution which we know you are certainly going to make.