Pope Francis appoints new Bishop of Paisley

Pope Francis has today (Saturday 8 February 2014) appointed Fr John Keenan, as Bishop of Paisley.  

The Diocese of Paisley has been vacant since September 2012, when Bishop Philip Tartaglia became Archbishop of Glasgow. Fr David Boyd has been the Administrator of the Diocese in the interim.

Reacting to the announcement, Bishop-Elect Keenan said;

While nervous at my appointment, I have been very uplifted at the congratulations and good wishes I have received so far which have given me more confidence.   Everyone I speak to says Paisley is a wonderful diocese with good priests and people full of faith. I am looking forward to being with my brother priests, many of whom I already know really well, and getting to know the people and the parishes of the diocese.   I hope just to settle in and listen a lot.  

At the same time I leave Glasgow with a heavy heart.   I have loved my priesthood there from the very beginning and know I have family and many friends who will continue supporting me.     This is an exciting time in the Church under Pope Francis' lively leadership and I hope to put as much of his vision into my own personal life and ministry as I can.   I know many people in Paisley and Glasgow will be praying for me and I thank them very much.

Welcoming the appointment of his successor, Archbishop Tartaglia said;

I welcome the appointment of Father John Keenan as Bishop of Paisley. As Archbishop of Glasgow, I am glad that a priest of the Archdiocese has been named by Pope Francis as Bishop of Paisley. Father Keenan has been a much-loved and respected Parish Priest, and an inspirational Catholic Chaplain to Glasgow University (Turnbull Hall). His appointment gives me a huge headache in trying to replace him. But, in the Church, when one part of the body is made stronger, the whole body benefits.   So, in this case, Paisley s delight is Glasgow s joy, and I am certain that Fr Keenan will be a fine bishop for Paisley.

As a former of Bishop of Paisley, I am very happy that the Diocese of Paisley now has a new Bishop. It s a great diocese and very supportive of its bishops. Bishop-Elect John Keenan can expect a warm and heartfelt welcome throughout the diocese. I was very happy as Bishop of Paisley and I am sure he will be too.

And as President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, along with my brother-bishops, I will be delighted to welcome our new colleague to the Bishops Conference. We know that John is a very gifted priest, and we look forward with anticipation to his contribution as a bishop to the work of the Conference.  

Commenting on the appointment, Fr David Boyd said:

"I was absolutely delighted to hear that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, had nominated as bishop of Paisley Diocese Fr. John Keenan.   Over the past seventeen months since Archbishop Tartaglia left for Glasgow we have been praying at many masses in our diocese for,   "a pastor who will please you by his holiness and to show us watchful care". I am certain that in Bishop Elect John Keenan, that prayer has been answered.   On behalf of Bishop Emeritus John Mone, the priests and deacons and lay faithful of the Diocese of Paisley, I can assure Bishop Elect John a very warm welcome and the assurance of our prayers and support.   Over the past seventeen months, as Administrator, I have been taken aback time and time again by the support, energy and good will of all the clergy and people of this Diocese.   I am certain that Bishop Elect John will also experience this and that we will hopefully make him feel at home very quickly".



Peter Kearney
Catholic Media Office
07968 122291(M)

Notes to Editors:

1. Biography - Bishop Elect John Keenan: DOB 19/12/64 Born and Baptised: St Joseph's, Cowcaddens , then St Gregory's, Wyndford. School: St Gregory's Primary, Shrigley Salesian College, Cheshire. University of Glasgow (1984-88); Ll.B   Gregorian University Rome (1988-95); S.T.B., Ph.L

Parishes:   Christ the King, Kingspark (1995-2000) and Chaplain at Holyrood (1997-2000) Lecturer in Philosophy, Scotus College (1995-2005) University of Glasgow Chaplain (2000-2014) and Parish Priest, St Patrick's, Anderston (2013-14) Vocations Director, Archdiocese of Glasgow (2013-14)  


2. The installation of the new bishop will take place in St. Mirin s Cathedral, Paisley on Wednesday 19 March 2014, the Feast of St. Joseph.

3. Bishop Elect John Keenan will become Scotland s youngest Bishop following his Episcopal Ordination on 19 March.

4. The Diocese of Paisley was established in 1947 to serve the Roman Catholic Community within Inverclyde, Renfrewshire & East Renfrewshire (excluding Thornliebank). Although a small Diocese in geographical terms, the Diocese serves an eighth of the Catholic population of Scotland.

5. The appointment of Bishop Elect John Keenan, is the third Scottish Episcopal appointment made by Pope Francis since his election on 13 March 2013. He appointed Archbishop Leo Cushley as Archbishop of St. Andrews & Edinburgh on 24 July 2013 and Bishop Stephen Robson as Bishop of Dunkeld on 11 December 2013.

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