Bishop Michael is a native of Virginia in Co. Cavan and was born on the 15th April 1965. His father, Anthony, was born in Bristol, England, to Irish parents and his mother, Nora, is a native of Glenamaddy, Co. Galway. He has two sisters, Breda Murphy and Martina Keville.
Bishop Michael was educated in Virginia National School and in Kells C.B.S. before entering St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, to study for the priesthood in 1982. In Maynooth he graduated with a Bachelor in Divinity Degree and a Higher Diploma in Education.
Bishop Michael was ordained to the diaconate in the Maynooth College Chapel by Bishop Francis McKiernan, the bishop of Kilmore, in 1987 and he was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Kilmore in St. Matthew’s Church, Maghera, in his native parish, on the 25th June, 1989.
Bishop Michael began his ministry as a curate in the parish of Killinkere and in 1991 he joined the teaching staff of St. Patrick’s College, Cavan, where he taught English, Geography and Religion. He was appointed Chaplain of Bailieborough Community School in 1996 and Priest in Residence in the Parish of Kilmainhamwood and Moybologue. In 2002/2003 he studied at Mater Dei Institute of Education in Dublin and assisted during that time in Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Drimnagh. He graduated with a Masters in Religion and Education in 2003.
On his return to the Diocese of Kilmore Bishop Michael was appointed the Diocesan Director of Adult Faith Formation and Pastoral Renewal while also serving as a Priest in Residence in the parish of Castletara/Ballyhaise. His role included providing training, encouragement and support for Parish Pastoral Councils, Liturgy Groups, Eucharistic Ministers and Ministers of the Word. He also helped to provide Adult Religious Education courses in the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, and in Manorhamilton, which were accredited by the Mater Dei Institute of Education and the Maryvale Institute. In 2010, in addition to these roles, Bishop Michael was appointed director of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre and in 2013 he was transferred as Curate to the Cathedral Parish in Cavan with responsibility for the Butlersbridge area. In 2014 he was appointed to his present position as Parish Priest of Killann Parish, which includes the towns of Bailieborough and Shercock, and as Vicar Forane for the Bailieborough Deanery. Bishop Michael was also a member of the College of Consultors of the Diocese of Kilmore and is chairman of the Diocesan Priests’ Council since 2017.
Armagh Diocesan Pastoral Centre,
The Magnet, The Demense,
Dundalk, Co Louth
Tel: 042 933 6393
COAT OF ARMS
Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful. Enkindle in us the fire of Your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who, by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
The episcopal coat of arms chosen by Bishop Michael Router is in the standard form of cross, shield and galero. The galero is traditionally the broad brimmed hat and tassels worn by a bishop.
The central symbol is the torch representing the flame of faith. This particular torch is a copy of the one St. Benan holds before St. Patrick in the stained-glass window by Harry Clarke located in the Honan Chapel in Cork. St. Benan was one of the earliest disciples of St. Patrick and he accompanied him on many of his travels around Ireland. St. Benan established a church in Drumbannon, near Bailieborough in Co. Cavan, the parish where, for the past five years, Fr. Michael has served as Parish Priest. St. Benan left Bailieborough to join St. Patrick in Armagh where he became his assistant Bishop. He died in 467 AD.
The flame is a rich symbol representing the light of Christian faith which guides the footsteps of the faithful from birth to death. A lighted candle is handed to the parents of the newly baptised child as the priest prays “May they keep the flame of faith alive in their hearts”. The mission of the Christian today is to keep the flame of faith alive in the darkness of evil that threatens our world.
In the top left-hand corner, as you view the crest, the dove represents the Holy Spirit who constantly renews the Church and ignites the flame of faith even in the most difficult of situations. The seven rays which proceed from the head of the dove signify the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Right Judgement, Courage, Knowledge, Reverence and Wonder and Awe in God’s Presence. The background colour of blue represents the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In the top right hand corner, there is a representation of a yew tree. Fr. Michael is from Virginia in Co. Cavan and the Irish name for the town is Achadh an Iúir meaning the field of the yew tree. The background colours of black and yellow also represent his home place. The yew tree, an evergreen tree noted for its longevity, is a symbol of renewal, regeneration and resurrection.
Bishop Michael’s episcopal motto “In Manus Tuas Domine” (Into Your Hands, O Lord) is taken from the Gospel of Luke 23:46.