Ireland's first Jesuit bishop is ordained

Ireland's first Jesuit bishop
Ireland's first Jesuit bishop

The first Jesuit bishop to be based in Ireland  was ordained at the Cathedral of Saints and Columba in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, last Sunday.

Bishop Alan McGuckian will lead the Catholic diocese of Raphoe.  

During his ordination, Arcbishop Eamon Martin said that it was important to have conversations in Ireland about what defines a “good life” and “flourishing life”, not just for individuals but also for communities too.

The archbishop also drew attention to the upcoming launch of the new Irish translation of the missal.


Speaking further on the topic, he said Bishop McGuckian’s “respect for the Irish language” would hold great value and that he “would be very pleased if more parishes, not just those in the Gaeltacht, could introduce regular Sunday worship in our native language.”

Bishop McGuckian was born in Cloughmills, Co Antrim. He developed an interest in the Irish language after a visit to Donegal as a young man. He is the youngest out of his six siblings and is also one of three brothers who also serve as Jesuit priests. He was born in 1953 and was ordained after studying at the Milltown institute in Dublin and the School of Theology in Toronto.

Bishop McGuckian has spent previous years working with the Down and Connor diocese in the Living Church project.

Although not the first Irish Jesuit to be consecrated as a Bishop, Alan is the first to be based in Ireland. He was preceded by James Corboy SJ, who served as a Bishop in Zambia from 1962 to 1991. A recent book was published in Ireland celebrating his life, and the author is interviewed here