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New Bishop of Clogher promises to "do my best" in new role

Bishop Larry Duffy with Archbishop Eamon Martin at yesterday's ordination. Photo by Rory Geary
Marie Louise McConville

The newly-ordained Catholic Bishop of Clogher has vowed to "do my best" as he begins service in his new role.

Members of the religious and lay communities, civic representatives, guests and family members gathered at St Macartan's Cathedral in Monaghan yesterday to celebrate the ordination of Mgr Lawrence Duffy.

The popular cleric, who has been parish priest of Carrickmacross since 2013 was ordained a priest at the same cathedral in 1976

Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland led the service, assisted by Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor and Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland.

The new bishop has served in across diocese including Enniskillen, Castleblayney, Monaghan and Rackwallace, Ederney, Clones and Carrickmacross. He also spent four years working in the diocese of Kitui in Kenya.

A former player with Magheracloone Mitchells GAC and keen golfer, Bishop Duffy was urged by Archbishop Martin "do not lose your priestly and pastoral instinct to serve, and to build up hearts".

"This is one of your gifts and you can bring it to your episcopacy. Keep encouraging your people. As Pope Francis says, do not allow them to be `robbed of hope'.

"We must never think, as bishops and priests, that we are in this alone. It is time to encourage and form our lay faithful, and especially our young people, to be alert and open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, calling them and `gifting' them for the service of the gospel".

"My brother Larry, this `call within a call' will bring you many new responsibilities and challenges. As bishop, you may sometimes feel yourself sinking beneath so many competing demands and expectations.

"Call on the Holy Spirit when you need wisdom, and fortitude - and stay close also to Mary, our Blessed Mother; she knows what it is like to say `yes' to God, and to be completely open to God's will.

"Ask also for the prayers of your people, religious and priests. In difficult times I find myself buoyed up by the prayers and support of so many good people. Every prayer and word of encouragement you give them, you will receive back a hundred fold."

Speaking after his ordination, Bishop Duffy said he was "grateful" to all those gathered and for their prayers.

"When the diocese of Clogher became vacant, I frequently prayed in public that the Holy Spirit would guide those responsible for choosing a bishop, and that the one chosen would be God's choice.

"What a shock when I was invited to serve. The God of surprises surely has a sense of fun. All I can can promise is to do my best".

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