Bishop Francis


Coat of Arms

Our new Bishop

Episcopal Ordination, St. Mary’s, Athlone, 6th. October 2013.


Fr. Francis Duffy.


I come from the Parish of Templeport in County Cavan. I am the oldest of four children born to Mary and the late Frank Duffy. I was educated in Munlough National School and St Patrick’s College, Cavan. After seven years at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, I was ordained in St Mogue’s Church, Bawnboy, on 20 June 1982.


For eleven years I was a teacher in St Patrick’s College, Cavan. I worked as Principal of Fatima and Felim’s Secondary School, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim for twelve years.


In 2009 Bishop Leo O’Reilly appointed me as Diocesan Secretary and Chancellor in the Diocese of Kilmore . In 2009 I also took up the position of Resident Priest in Clifferna, Parish of Laragh, Co. Cavan.


On 17th July 2013 Pope Francis appointed me as Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois.

The Coat of Arms


On the left of the shield is the Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois. The cross and fleur-de-lis, flowers of light, with horizontal key is traditionally associated with the Diocese.


On the right of the shield is Bishop Francis’ Coat of Arms: on the lower part is a river, symbolising the great River Shannon, rising in the mountains of west Cavan and flowing along much of the western boundary of the Diocese. The tower is reminiscent of the monastery and round tower of Clonmacnoise, a place of worship, learning and pilgrimage from the earliest years of Christianity on this island. The door is open in welcome.


The motto ‘Veni ut vitam habeant’ – ‘I have come that they may have life’ is taken from John 10: 10. It highlights the value of each human life, its value to God and its value to us. It also leads us to consider how we make the lives of one another better, more peaceful and more enjoyable.

Thoughts on the future


My priority is to get to know the Diocese - priests, Religious and laity and all who are involved at diocesan and parish level in various pastoral and administrative activities. I intend to continue and build on the good work already underway in the diocese.

In getting to know people I am very keen to know their views on the Diocese, the Church and the issues that matter to them. For me, issues such as the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus as Good News, and the fact that so many have drifted away, and vocations are some of the concerns that I wish to explore and address with the people of Ardagh and Clonmacnois.


I am very fortunate to have Bishop Colm to advise and to assist me, especially in these early days. I am also very happy that he has agreed to continue his vital role on the committee for the restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral. His knowledge and expertise are invaluable.


Ordination Details


The Episcopal Ordination will take place in St Mary’s Church, Athlone, Co. Westmeath at 3.00pm on Sunday 6th October. The church, opened in 1861, has served as a Pro-Cathedral for the diocese since the destruction of St. Mel’s Cathedral by fire in 2009. It is home to the cathedra which was designed for St Mel’s Cathedral in 1891. Fr. Francis will be the sixth Bishop of the Diocese to have used it.


The Principal Consecrator will be Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh, assisted by the Apostolic Nuncio, Most Rev. Charles J. Brown and Most Rev. Colm O’Reilly, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois. Fr. Peter Burke, Parish Priest of Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim, will give the homily.


The capacity in St Mary’s is 600. The invitees include 300 people from the diocese, including representatives from the 41 parishes; 170 clergy, including Bishops, clergy from the Dioceses of Kilmore, Ardagh and Clonmacnois and classmates; 100 personal guests of Fr Francis, and 30 choir members.


Several committees and groups have been working hard and enthusiastically in preparation for this event. I thank them for their work and time and their determination to make this event memorable and enjoyable for all.


The ordination ceremony will be streamed live on the diocesan website www.ardaghdiocese.com and Longford Parish website www.longfordparish.com and on iCatholic.ie. It will also be streamed live in the Assembly Hall in St. Mel’s College, Longford.

Shannonside Radio will broadcast the ceremony live.


The St Francis of Assisi Prayer


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.



The Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois
Diocesan Office,
Ballinalee Road.
Co. Longford.
Telephone : 043-3346432
Fax : 043 - 3346833
Email : ardaghdi@iol.ie