Longford County Council honours Most Reverend Bishop Higgins. Picture: Shelley Corcoran
Most Reverend Bishop Richard B Higgins was the recipient of much praise at a civic reception held in his honour by Longford County Council on Friday, March 22 at Áras an Chontae.
Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Luie McEntire was delighted to welcome the Longford town native back home along with some of his family, friends, fellow members of the clergy and local councillors who all attended the reception.
Born in Longford in 1944 to Richard and Mary Higgins, Bishop Higgins had a long association with the county council as chief assistant engineer.
He studied for the priesthood in the Irish College in Rome and was ordained in March 1968. He celebrated his golden jubilee last year. Bishop Higgins is now the Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese and Vicar of Veteran Affairs for United States’ Military Services. Responsible for over 270 military chaplains throughout the USA, Puerto Rico and Guam, he also serves as the Bishop Protector for the 10,000 members of the Catholic War Veterans of America.
Following his ordination for the diocese of Sacremento, Bishop Higgins served parish assignments in Roseville and Grass Valley. He entered the US Air Force in September 1974 and served as a Catholic chaplain until his retirement in the grade of Colonel in October 2004.
He had many air force assignments and many military decorations. His love of flying stemmed from his time spent in Longford. Bishop Higgins holds an airline transport pilot certificate and his interest in aviation began in Abbeyshrule a long number of years ago.
He is also a keen motorcyclist and the proud owner of a powerful BMW machine.
“On behalf of the people of county Longford, we commend you for your distinguished career,” said Cllr McEntire.
“We are truly honoured that a Longford town native has achieved so much.
“I hope you will continue to be a frequent visitor to Longford and, on my own behalf and all here this evening, we wish you every health and happiness in the years ahead.”