Good Friday 30th March 2018
My dear people of the Diocese of Dromore,
On Monday of this week, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop John McAreavey as Bishop of Dromore and appointed me, Bishop Philip Boyce, as Apostolic Administrator of the vacant see. I wish to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the people of the diocese having done so in person in Newry Cathedral at the Chrism Mass.
During this Holy Week my prayers will be with the people, religious and clergy of Dromore and in particular with those who have been abused, and with all who are suffering because of abuse. I continue to hold all of you in my prayers in the Easter season as we pray for renewal, healing and new life in this diocese.
I also wish to acknowledge Bishop McAreavey’s nineteen years of service as a bishop to this diocese and the wider church in Ireland.
I come among you as Apostolic Administrator. My role is to support the people of Dromore in their pastoral needs at this difficult time. I will work alongside the clergy, diocesan support staff, parish councils and others to oversee the pastoral needs of the diocese and ensure that its various activities continue to be renewed and enhanced through the grace of the risen Lord.
I ask you to pray in particular for those who are suffering because of abuse. I also ask you to pray for those supporting the abused and for those who are involved in child safeguarding at all levels of our diocese. Once again, I join with my fellow bishops who stated following their general meeting earlier this month, the Church can never become complacent concerning the safeguarding of children. The Church is committed to both the review process of dioceses undertaken by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church and to cooperation with any inquiry required by statutory bodies.
At Easter we celebrate the victory of life over death, of hope over despair, and of healing over pain. My prayer is that we will all experience the grace of the Resurrection in our individual lives and in our faith communities. May the message of the Easter season resonate in our hearts: He is Risen, Alleluia!
Most Rev Philip Boyce