His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has appointed as Bishop of Limerick, Reverend Brendan Leahy, priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin and Professor of Systematic Theology at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
Following the announcement, Archbishop Martin said “Bishop-elect Leahy is a popular priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin with an extraordinarily broad experience as a priest, as a pastor, as a theologian, as a writer and as a teacher. He is well-known and respected in Ireland and worldwide in the area of ecumenical and interfaith cooperation. His contributions to the Archdiocese of Dublin will be missed but I know that he will throw himself with real dedication and enthusiasm into his new mission as Bishop of Limerick. Together with the priests of the Archdiocese and those who have benefitted from his ministry I wish Father Leahy every blessing in the years to come and assure him of our prayers.”
Brendan Leahy is a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin and was ordained in 1986. He is currently professor of systematic theology at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth. For many years he has been a member of the Focolare Movement and is living in the Focolare Centre, Prosperous, County Kildare.
Born in Dublin in 1960, Father Brendan lived in Crumlin parish until he was six, then moving to Ballyroan, Rathfarnham. He attended Saint Damian’s National School, Walkinstown, and Coláiste Éanna CBS, Ballyroan.
He completed his undergraduate studies in law at University College Dublin (1977-1980), theology and spirituality at Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin (1980-1981), philosophy at Clonliffe College, Dublin (1981-1983) and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (1983-1986). He pursued professional studies at King’s Inns, Dublin (1981-83) and was called to the Bar in 1983. He pursued post-graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (1983-1991) on the writings of a Swiss theologian, leading to a doctoral thesis published as: The Marian Profile in the Ecclesiology of Hans Urs von Balthasar (New York and London: New City, 2000).
Father Leahy has held a number of appointments in the Archdiocese of Dublin: curate in Clonskeagh parish (1991-1992), member of the staff of Holy Cross Seminary (1992-1999) and Mater Dei Institute of Education (1992-2006); member of the Priests Council and College of Consultors (1998-2004); parish chaplain in Lusk (1999-2004); registrar of Mater Dei Institute (2004-2006); chair of the Ecumenical Committee; diocesan censor (1999 to present).
On the national level Father Leahy has acted as secretary of the Advisory Committee on Ecumenism of the Irish Bishops’ Conference (1999–2010) and is a member of the Inter-Church Meeting (1999 – present) and of the Three Faiths Forum of Ireland (1999 – present). He is co-chair of the Theology Forum of the Irish Inter-Church Meeting (2010 – present).
Father Leahy was nominated an associate member of the Pontifical Theology Academy (2004 – present) and has been a visiting lecturer at the Sophia University Institute, Loppiano, Florence since its beginning in 2008.
Father Leahy has published widely, including Believe in Love: The Life, Ministry and Teachings of John Paul II (Dublin: Veritas, 2011); Ecclesial Movements and Communities: Origins, Issues and Significance (New York: New City, 2011); His Mass and Ours: Meditations on Living Eucharistically (New York: New City, 2012); Year of Faith: Stations of the Cross (London: CTS, 2013). In 2005 he edited No Peace Without Justice, No Justice Without Forgiveness: Messages for Peace from Pope John Paul II (Dublin: Veritas, 2005). He has co-edited, Having Life in His Name: Living, Thinking and Communicating the Christian Life of Faith. (Dublin: Veritas Publications, 2011) and Treasures of Irish Christianity: People and Places, Images and Texts (Dublin: Veritas, 2012).
With both his parents coming from Ballyferriter parish in West Kerry, Father Brendan has roots in Kerry. In the 1940s his father taught for a year in Athea, County Limerick.
The Patron Saints of the Diocese of Limerick are Saint Munchin, feast day 3 January, and Saint Ita, feast day 15 January. Father Anthony Mullins has been Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Limerick since 22 December 2009. The Diocese of Limerick is made up of sixty parishes, as well as chaplaincies, religious orders, congregations, and school communities; the diocese includes the greater part of County Limerick, part of County Clare and one townland in County Kerry; it has a Catholic population of 184,340; with 89 priests in active in ministry; and there are 94 churches in the Diocese of Limerick.
January 10th 2013