Msgr. Dermot Farrell has been appointed by Pope Francis to be Bishop of Ossory, in Ireland.
Born in 1954 and ordained to the priesthood in 1980, Farrell is currently Vicar General to the diocese of Meath. He holds a doctorate from the Gregorian University in Rome, where he wrote a dissertation on the dogmatic foundations of Bernard Haring’s moral philosophy. From 1996–2007 he was president of St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
In an address he gave on the announcement of his appointment, he said of himself:
I have been a priest for over 37 years; half of that time in parish ministry where I have always been very happy and fulfilled. Of course, this is why I became a priest in the first instance: to work with people, in their service, in the service of the Lord, and of his gospel, of Christ’s good news about God, about us, and about our world.
He further reflected on the mystery of God’s call, saying:
Every person lives with mystery. None of us can predict how what happens today will influence and affect our future or the future of others. Part of being people of faith is trusting that, in God’s hands, our lives will bear fruit. It was this way for God’s own Son who on the cross prayed, “into your hands I commend my spirit.” This was the very prayer of Stephen – the Protomartyr or “First Witness” to Jesus and his way. It is for that very reason that the Church celebrates Stephen on the day after Christmas Day. It is Christ who enables us to walk in the mystery of our lives (see John 14:5–6). It is he who is our hope and our peace.
The Diocese of Ossory consists of County Kilkenny and portions of counties Laois and Offaly. The Catholic population of Ossory is 84,729. There are 42 parishes in the diocese and 89 churches. There are 58 priests active in the diocese and 15 others. The patron saint of the Diocese of Ossory is Saint Kieran.