Ordination of Our New Bishop Of Clogher
As we prepare for the ordination of Mgr Larry Duffy as our new bishop on 10 February, we reflect today on what our diocese is.
A diocese is a portion of the people of God which is entrusted to a bishop to be shepherded by him with the cooperation of the priests, deacons, religious and lay people. Thus, gathered together by him through the Gospel and the Eucharist in the Holy Spirit, the diocese is a particular church in which the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present. (cf. Vatican II, Christus Dominus, no. 11). It is the people of God, across all our parishes, that make up the diocese.
Our Diocese of Clogher traces its origins to the 5th century when St Patrick left St Macartan in charge of the local church. Between 1100 and 1300 the boundaries of the diocese became settled. Today, it stretches from Inniskeen, Killanny and Magheracloone in south Monaghan to Bundoran, Ballyshannon and Pettigo in Donegal – virtually from the Irish Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. It includes all of Co Monaghan, nearly all of Co Fermanagh a large portion of south and west Tyrone, as well as portions of Donegal, Louth and Cavan. There are 37 parishes in the diocese, with 58 priests and 2 deacons active in parish ministry. There are 85 churches in the diocese and it has a Catholic population of over 88,000. St Macartan is our patron saint and the cathedral church, where the bishop’s cathedra or seat is located, is in Monaghan.