A PARISH priest appointed the new Catholic Bishop of Clogher will bring a ""wealth of pastoral experience" to the high profile role.
Pope Francis announced at the weekend that Mgr Larry Duffy, who has been parish priest of Carrickmacross since 2013 and is also administrator of Magheracloone, is to become the new bishop.
The official announcement was made at noon on Saturday at the Vatican and just before 11am Mass at St Joseph's Church in the Co Monaghan town.
Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, was the chief celebrant of the Mass.
Diocese administor Mgr Joseph McGuinness said Bishop-Elect Duffy brings to this new role "the experience of a lifetime of priestly pastoral care for people both in Ireland and in Kenya", adding that he is "renowned across the diocese for his ability to connect with people, to care for them and to know them".
Born in 1951, Mgr Duffy was ordained in St Macartan's Cathedral in Monaghan in 1976.
He has served in various parishes of Clogher 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, Bishop-elect Duffy is also an avid GAA fan and keen golfer.
The episcopal ordination of Mgr Duffy will take place in St Macartan's Cathedral in Monaghan on Sunday, February 10.
Speaking about his new appointment, Mgr Duffy said the news would "surprise many" adding that it had come "as a shock to me when first mentioned".
"To work with the priests and all the people of the diocese is what this call is all about," he said.
"Departing Carrickmacross parish will be sad. I thank the people here for their love, understanding and support over the past five years. You will always be close to my heart.
"Finally, my one wish and request is that you pray for me."
Primate of All Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin, said Mgr Duffy would bring "a wealth of pastoral experience having ministered in various parishes - both north and south - in the diocese.
"I have no doubt that Bishop-elect Larry will also bring his keen sense of pastoral priorities to bear on our discussions at the Bishops' Conference, including the benefit of experience and wider perspective gained during his missionary placement in Kenya."
Rev John McDowell, Church of Ireland Bishop of Clogher, said: "I want to congratulate Mgr Duffy on his appointment and assure him of my prayers and those of his many friends within the Church of Ireland community.
"I look forward to working with the new Bishop in the same spirit of friendship and service as I was fortunate enough to share with his predecessor Bishop Liam McDaid and pray that Mgr Duffy will know the presence of the Lord as he prepares for his episcopal ordination".