By Sean Ryan - 05 August, 2016
Following Pope Francis’ acceptance of the resignation of Bishop Séamus Freeman SAC last week on health grounds, the College of Consultors elected Mgr Michael Ryan as Administrator of the diocese of Ossory.
In a statement the diocese said, “A Diocesan Administrator has responsibility for administering the day-to-day affairs of the Diocese while a new Bishop is awaited.”
Responding to the announcement, Mgr Ryan, a parish priest in Castlecomer said, “I am humbled to be asked to take on this new responsibility and I hope to continue the good work that Bishop Séamus oversaw in our Diocese for these past nine years.”
“I wish him well in his retirement and pray for his continued health. I hope to do all that I can to facilitate the continued implementation of our Diocesan Pastoral Plan and the many other good works in the Diocese which give us life and hope. I respectfully ask that people keep me in their prayers as we now await the appointment of a new Bishop.”
Mgr Ryan, who is a native of St John’s Parish, Kilkenny, was educated in St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny City.
He was ordained on 11 June 1967 and served as a curate in the parishes of Dunamaggan, St Patrick’s and St Mary’s Cathedral.
He then began teaching in 1967 in the Vocational School in Kilkenny before undertaking Post Graduate studies in Religious Education.
Then in 1973, Fr Ryan joined the staff in St Kieran’s College and became President there in 1990.
In 1995, he was appointed parish priest of Castlecomer Parish.
Mgr Ryan served as Episcopal Vicar for Retired Clergy and since 2002 as Vicar General of the Diocese of Ossory.
He has already served as Administrator of the Diocese for a period in 2007 following the retirement of Bishop Laurence Forstall.
A replacement for Bishop Freeman could take up to a year to find.