Missionary archbishop comes
to Tipp via Liberia and Nigeria

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The new Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Kieran O’Reilly, will bring a missionary zeal to his new role.

The new Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Kieran O’Reilly, will bring a missionary zeal to his new role.

But when asked what other attributes he will bring to the archdiocese, he replied - “I will bring myself”.

The present Bishop of Killaloe, who has spent most of his priesthood on the missions, will be installed at a ceremony in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles on Sunday.

He will be welcomed by his predecessor Archbishop Dermot Clifford and will then be the chief celebrant at the installation mass assisted by Archbishop Clifford and the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles J. Brown.

A native of Cork city, Archbishop O’Reilly was ordained a priest for the Society of African Missions in 1978.

His appointments have included Liberia and Nigeria and at a press briefing last week before his installation, he expressed his love of missionary work.

Following his election as a member of the SMA General Council, his responsibilities included the formation of seminarians and priests, justice and peace issues and the develoment of the SMA in Africa. In 2001 he was elected the eleventh Superior General of the Society of African Missions, a position he held until his appointment as Bishop of Killaloe in 2010.

He was the nineteenth member of his order to serve as bishop but the first to do so in Ireland.

One of his most recent trips abroad was to Gaza to visit the Christian community in the war-ravaged land.

“We wanted to show solidarity with them and let them know that the world has not forgotten them”, he said.

“Christians need our support in areas such as that”, he added.

After spending timke in Monrovia in Liberia and Ibadan in Nigeria, the members of the Irish Province of the SMA elected Archbishop O’Reilly a member of the Provincial Council, the body which oversees the administration of the society in Ireland.

Six years later, at the 1995 general assembly in Rome, he was elected Vicar General.