By Katie Ascough - 19 June, 2020
Following the announcement on 27 January by Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Papal Nuncio, of Pope Francis’ appointment of Fr Paul Dempsey as Bishop of Achonry, a date was arranged for his episcopal ordination.
However, because of the introduction in mid March of restrictions to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the decision was taken to defer the ordination.
Fr Dermot Meehan, Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Achonry, is now pleased to announce that a new date has been set. Fr Dempsey will be ordained bishop in the Cathedral of the Annunciation and Saint Nathy, Ballaghaderreen, on Sunday 30 August at 3.00 p.m.
Planning for the ordination will be in accordance with government and NEPHET guidelines, and as a result the number able to attend will be more limited than was originally planned for 19 April.
In response to the news of a confirmed date for his episcopal ordination, Fr Paul Dempsey, Parish Priest of Newbridge and Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Achonry, has issued the following statement:
“It is a source of joy for me to know that we now have a rescheduled date of Sunday 30 August for my episcopal ordination as Bishop of Achonry.
I requested the postponement of the ceremony, which was originally scheduled for 19 April, in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It was a difficult decision but I felt it would not have been appropriate to proceed with the ordination at that time.
I am grateful to Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, and to the priests, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Achonry for their patience and understanding as we have been dealing with the unprecedented consequences of COVID-19 in our country and in our world. I am especially grateful for the support of Fr Dermot Meehan who has administered the diocese over these challenging weeks and months.
As I prepare to leave Kildare and Leighlin Diocese I offer my renewed thanks to Bishop Denis Nulty and to the people and priests of the diocese, especially the people of Newbridge Parish for their support at this time.
I ask for your prayers as I prepare to take on the role of shepherd in the Diocese of Achonry.”