Saturday 17 August 2019

Pope Francis confirms Monsignor Fintan Gavin as new Bishop of Cork & Ross

Bishop John Buckley
Bishop John Buckley

Ralph Riegel

POPE Francis has confirmed Chancellor of the Dublin Archdiocese Monsignor Fintan Gavin as the new Bishop of Cork & Ross.

He will replace Dr John Buckley as bishop of one of Ireland's biggest dioceses.

Monsignor Gavin concelebrated Mass at the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne in Cork this morning - the church where his installation ceremony will be celebrated.

The Mass was concelebrated with the retiring Bishop of Cork & Ross, Dr John Buckley, and the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo.

Monsignor Gavin was introduced to parishioners - and the Dublin-born cleric will begin duties in Cork immediately.

His new diocese is comprised of almost 70 parishes and over 220,000 parishioners.

Dr Buckley warmly welcomed his successor and said that he will have full support of the priests of the dioceses who will now be his "closest collaborators."

"It is a great honour for a Dublin man to be promoted to the real capital of Cork," he said.

He said that many Cork people made their mark when they moved to Dublin including Jack Lynch, Michael Collins and Seán Ó Faoláin.

"Perhaps now is a good time to begin reversing that trend and that Dublin people would make a contribution to Cork! We always think down here that there are only two categories of people in Ireland, Cork people and those who wish they were Cork people!  You have now obtained your wish thanks to Pope Francis," he laughed.

Dr Buckley - who will be 80 in November - has served as Bishop of Cork & Ross since his installation in 1998.

He had served as Auxiliary Bishop of Cork & Ross since 1984 and was first ordained in 1965.

Under Church rules, he had submitted his resignation to the Vatican in November 2014 when he reached the age of 75.

A native of Inchigeela, Dr Buckley ranked as one of the most respected members of the Irish hierarchy, widely considered to have been "a safe pair of hands" for the Church in handling various crises over the past two decades.

A noted sportsman, he is a lifelong GAA fan and an accomplished road bowler. Dr Buckley was also noted for his work with Cork hospitals and the poor.

After the Manx Air tragedy at Cork Airport eight years ago, he insisted on personally attending the scene to offer comfort to the bereaved.

Monsignor Gavin was born in Marino, Dublin and is one of seven brothers and sisters.

His family roots are in Mayo and Fermanagh.

Like Dr Buckley, he is a keen sports fan and played hurling and football with St Vincent's GAA Club in Marino.

Bishop-elect Gavin was ordained to the Diaconate by the former Archbishop of Dublin, Archbishop Desmond Connell, in the Church of the Holy Cross, Clonliffe, Drumcondra, in March 1990.

He was ordained to serve as a priest of the Archdiocese by the Bishop Éamonn Walsh, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, and was appointed to the St Vincent de Paul Parish Church, Marino, Dublin, in June 1991.

Until now, Monsignor Gavin was Chancellor in the Archdiocese of Dublin and Parish Chaplain in the parishes of Ballymun Road, Iona Road, Drumcondra, Glasnevin, and Ballygall.

He is fluent in both Spanish and Italian.

Amongst his hobbies he counts walking, cooking and gardening.

The monsignor had previously served as a priest-teacher at St Thomas' Community College in Bray, Co Wicklow.

A keen chorister, he worked with the music director over the last nine years to develop the Gospel Choir in Our Lady of Victories Parish, Ballymun Road, Dublin.

The choir was especially chosen to lead the liturgical singing during Pope Francis’ meeting with engaged and newly married couples at Saint Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Dublin, during the 9th World Meeting of Families in Ireland in August 2018.

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