Roman Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor
|Diocese of Down and Connor
Dioecesis Dunensis et Connorensis
Deoise An Dúin agus Chonaire
|Territory||Most of counties Antrim and Down and part of County Londonderry|
|Ecclesiastical province||Province of Armagh|
|Area||934 sq mi (2,420 km2)|
|(as of 2013)
|Established||Down and Connor united in the 15th century|
|Cathedral||St Peter's Cathedral, Belfast|
|Patron saint||St Malachy and St MacNissi|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Eamon Martin|
|Auxiliary Bishops||Anthony J. Farquhar
and Donal McKeown,
Auxiliary Bishops of Down and Connor
|Emeritus Bishops||Patrick Joseph Walsh,
Bishop Emeritus of Down and Connor
The Diocese of Down and Connor within the Province of Armagh
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor, (Irish: Deoise an Dúin agus Chonaire) is a Roman Catholic diocese in Northern Ireland. It is one of eight suffragan dioceses in the ecclesiastical province of Armagh and is subject to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Armagh. The incumbent is Bishop Noel Treanor.
The geographic remit of the diocese includes much of counties Antrim and Down, including the cities of Belfast and Lisburn and the large towns Antrim, Ballymena, Bangor, Carrickfergus, Downpatrick, Holywood, Larne and Newtownards. The population of the diocese is about one million, of which approximately 30% are Roman Catholic. The diocese is Ireland's second largest in terms of population (after the Archdiocese of Dublin).
St Fergus (d. 583) is named as first Bishop of Down. The diocese of Connor was founded in 480 by St Macnissi, and St Malachy was bishop there (1124). The dioceses of Down and Connor were permanently joined in 1439.
In 1670, as an effect of the Reformation, wars, and penal laws, in the whole of Down and Connor there were only 2500 Catholic families. When at length the pressure of penal legislation was removed Catholicism revived rapidly.
In the period 1810–1840, due in part to Catholic emancipation in 1829, forty new churches were built. The progress thus made under Dr Crolly (1825–1835) and Dr Denvir (1835–65) was continued, as Belfast expanded as a city, under Dr Dorrian (1865–86) and Dr MacAlister (1886–95) and Dr Henry (1895–1908).
There are currently 88 parishes and ministries in the diocese served by 163 priests. The Most Reverend Noel Treanor. is the 32nd Bishop of Down and Connor. He was ordained to the Episcopate and installed as Bishop of Down and Connor on 29 June 2008.
Priests in Down & Connor serve in parish ministry, school chaplaincy, hospital chaplaincy, youth work, prison chaplaincy, teacher training colleges and teaching in post-primary schools.
For the year ending 31 December 2007:
- Number of Catholics = 329,243.
- Number of Parishes = 88.
- Number of Churches = 151.
- Number of Priests in Diocesan Ministry = 159.
- Number Ordained (2011) = 1.
- Number of Retired Priests = 31.
- Seminarians = 10.
- Deacons = 1
- Number of Brothers = 30.
- Number of Sisters = 243.
- St. Mary's College of Education on Roll = 994.
- Number of Primary & Nursery Schools = 164 (On Roll = 32,306).
- Number of Grammar Schools = 12 (0n Roll = 10,795).
- Number of Secondary School = 31 (On Roll = 15,621).
- Baptisms = 5,078.
- First Communions = 4,533.
- Confirmations = 4,730.
- Marriages = 1,250.
(The Down and Connor Directory 2011)
List of city parishes
Listed are city parishes listed by the Diocese of Down and Connor.
List of country parishes
Listed are country parishes listed by the Diocese of Down and Connor.
Ad Limina Visit 2006
Bishop Patrick Walsh, Bishop Anthony Farquhar and Bishop Donal McKeown met with Pope Benedict XVI on the first morning of their visit. They spoke with the Pope for 20 minutes privately in which they discussed things like Education, child sexual abuse, peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.