Fr Raymond Browne of Kilgefin parish in Co Roscommon, which takes in Ballyleague, Ballagh and Curraghroe, has been appointed the new Bishop of Kerry by His Holiness, Pope Francis.
“I am deeply honoured that Pope Francis has chosen me,” said the Bishop-elect. “I want to pay tribute to say thank you to all back in my own diocese of Elphin. They have been my whole life and they have been very good to me.”
Fr Browne was ordained a priest for Elphin Diocese in 1982 and spent 13 years in Galway working in canon law, while the rest of his ministry to date has been spent as a school chaplin and in parish work.
The appointment was welcomed by the Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady: “I have known Fr Browne for many years and I am quite confident that he will prove to be an excellent and gentle pastor, a faithful teacher of the faith and a trustworthy and generous leader. I wish him many blessings.”
Bishop Bill Murphy, the outgoing Bishop of Kerry, expressed his satisfaction at his successor’s appointment. “I believe his appointment will greatly benefit the Church in the diocese of Kerry and will also contribute significantly to the work of the Irish Episcopal Conference and its commissions and agencies.”
Also adding his name to the list of well-wishers was Bishop Christopher Jones of Fr Browne’s own diocese of Elphin. He said that “Fr Browne’s ministry has been marked by his profound spirituality and his innate sense of pastoral outreach.”
Speaking during his first address to his new congregation, Fr Browne said, “It is not an easy time for priests and religious. My first task will be to go among you and to get to know you all: parishes, people and priests.”