STATEMENT FROM THE DIOCESE OF CLOGHER ON THE RETIREMENT OF MOST REVEREND LIAM MacDAID
DD AS BISHOP OF CLOGHER.
Some months ago Bishop Liam MacDaid, on medical advice, wrote to Pope Francis requesting
him to accept his early retirement as Bishop of Clogher due to ill-health, in accordance
with Canon 401 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law. It is announced this morning in Rome
(at Noon, Rome time) that Pope Francis has accepted Bishop MacDaid’s request and
that, accordingly, his retirement takes effect immediately.
Bishop Liam has always been very keen to communicate with the people of the diocese,
whether through visits to parishes or through pastoral letters. He is keen to ensure
that the People of God throughout Clogher diocese should hear from him the background
to his retirement, including some of the medical advice he has received, together
with his reflections on diocesan life and that of the wider Church at this time.
With this in mind, he has written a pastoral letter to the priests and people (HERE)
of the diocese which will be read at all Masses this weekend.
Bishop MacDaid was appointed Bishop of Clogher by Pope Benedict XVI on 6 May 2010,
in succession to Bishop Joseph Duffy who is now Bishop-Emeritus. He was ordained
on 25 July 2010 in St Macartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan.
As for the future, the governance of the diocese is now assumed by the College of
Consultors (in this case the Diocesan Chapter) which will meet in the coming days
to elect a Diocesan Administrator. The Diocesan Administrator will then lead the
diocese, with limited powers, until a new bishop is appointed by Pope Francis.
Following the acceptance by Pope Francis of the retirement of Bishop Liam MacDaid
as Bishop of Clogher on Saturday last, the Diocesan Chapter, acting as College of
Consultors, met this afternoon in Monaghan, in accordance with its rights and duties
under Canon Law, and elected Monsignor Joseph McGuinness, Diocesan Secretary, Chancellor
of the Diocese and Administrator of the Parish of Tyholland, to be the Diocesan Administrator.
He takes up his responsibilities immediately. The Diocesan Administrator will have
responsibility for administering the day-to-day affairs of the Diocese until a new
Bishop is appointed by Pope Francis. In his role as Administrator he will also attend
meetings of the Irish Bishops’ Conference.
Speaking after the meeting, Monsignor McGuinness said that he was conscious of how
much the wisdom and compassion of Bishop MacDaid’s leadership would be missed by
the priests and people of the diocese. He said that he felt honoured to be asked
to take on the role of Diocesan Administrator and would do his best to serve the
Diocese until the new bishop is appointed. He thanked and paid tribute to Bishop
MacDaid for his dedicated service over the past six years. ‘It has been a privilege
for me to have worked with Bishop MacDaid, to have learned from his example of generous
service, and to have benefited from his great kindness and support. I wish him happiness
in his retirement and pray that he will have good health and every blessing in the
years ahead’, he said. Monsignor McGuinness thanked the Chapter of Canons for their
support and good wishes and asked for the prayers of the priests and people of the
diocese in the time ahead. Biographical Note: Monsignor Joseph McGuinness is a native
of Lisnaskea (Aghalurcher parish), Co Fermanagh. He was educated at St Michael’s
College, Enniskillen, Queens University Belfast and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth
before being ordained a priest in 1984. He pursued post-graduate studies in liturgy
and sacramental theology at the Institut Catholique, Paris and completed teacher
training in St Mary’s University College, Belfast. He was appointed to the staff
of St Michael’s College in Enniskillen as a teacher of religion, science and music
in 1988. He was President of the College from 2000 until 2006 after which he was
appointed Parish Priest of Enniskillen in 2007. In 2010 Bishop MacDaid appointed
Mgr McGuinness as Diocesan Secretary, Chancellor of the Diocese and Administrator
of the Parish of Tyholland, Co Monaghan.
Diocese of Clogher to give thanks for the Episcopal Ministry of Bishop Liam MacDaid
Sunday 20 November 2016
The priests and people from all parishes across the Diocese of Clogher will honour
the Episcopal ministry and gifts of Bishop Liam MacDaid, Bishop-Emeritus of Clogher,
whose retirement was announced on 1 October. The event will consist of a Mass of
Thanksgiving in St Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan, on Sunday 20 November next at
3pm, followed by a reception in the Hillgrove Hotel nearby. Everyone is welcome.
All 37 parishes in the diocese will be represented through participation in the liturgy.
When a bishop is transferred or retires ‘it is proper that he gather his people at
a liturgical service. In this way he can bid them farewell and with them give thanks
for the blessings received from God during his episcopate’ (Ceremonial of Bishops,
no. 1156). Further details will be announced closer to the date. Bishop MacDaid was
Bishop of Clogher from 2010 until his retirement on health grounds was accepted by
Pope Francis on 1 October last. He is a native of Bundoran, Co Donegal and was previously
the President of St Macartan’s College, Monaghan and Administrator of the Parish
of Tyholland as well as serving in the roles of Diocesan Secretary and Chancellor
of the diocese. The event on 20 November will be an opportunity for all the priests
and people of the diocese to express their thanks to God for Bishop Liam’s ministry,
his many gifts and the generosity with which he shared them.