A former teacher and school principal was yesterday ordained Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise during a ceremony in Athlone, Co Westmeath.
Bishop Francis told the congregation he wanted to remember the two young girls who were allegedly sexually attacked in the town the previous weekend.
"My prayer today is for the young victims, their families and local communities," he said.
Cardinal Sean Brady, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown and the outgoing Bishop Colm O'Reilly, who has retired, co-consecrated the service in Saint Mary's Pro-Cathedral.
Bishop Duffy said the Episcopal motto he has chosen is "I have come that they may have life" because each human life is so important.
"When I think of life, I think of the great ability we can have to lift hearts and especially the hearts of those who are in dark places, maybe facing difficult choices or feeling abandoned, alone or of little worth, or struggling financially," he said.
Originally from Templeport in Cavan, Bishop Duffy (53) was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Kilmore in June 1982. He taught history, religion and Irish for 11 years in Saint Patrick's College, Cavan, and was principal of Fatima and Felim's Secondary School, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, for 12 years from 1996.
He was with the parish of Laragh, Co Cavan, before his appointment by Pope Francis.
He was ordained in front of 400 people, as well as family members and his mother, Mary.
Yesterday, he said he hoped the austerity in the upcoming Budget could be lessened.
"There have been reports in the media of the possibility of leeway in the Budget for people in distress," he said.
"And people are in financial distress, and I think that leeway would be important. Politicians know that, I'm sure."