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|
Patrick Joseph Walsh,
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus in Down and Connor
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 territorial 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 131 active 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.
At the Diocesan Congress in 2013 Bishop Treanor launched a review to ensure pastoral activities within the diocese matched current resources. To that end a review of pastoral structures was initiated which drew on the 2011 census. Draft new pastoral communities were presented to the clergy in three meetings and then to the pay faithful. Significantly influencing the structures for the future was a regular practice rate across the diocese of 20% which suggested a greater sharing of personnel, skills and finances.
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.
- Cathedral (St. Peter's)
- Christ the Redeemer (Lagmore)
- Corpus Christi
- Drumbo & Carryduff
- Holy Cross
- Holy Family
- Holy Rosary
- Holy Trinity
- Nativity, (Poleglass)
- Our Lady Queen of Peace (Kilwee)
- Parish of Antrim (St Comgall's and St Joseph's)
- Sacred Heart
- St Agnes'
- St Anne's
- St Anthony's
- St Bernadette's
- St Brigid's
- St Colmcille's
- St Gerard's
- St James' (Whiteabbey)
- St John's
- St Luke's (Twinbrook)
- St Malachy's
- St Mary's
- St Mary's-On-The-Hill
- St Matthews
- St Michael The Archangel
- St Oliver Plunkett
- St Patrick's
- St Paul's
- St Teresa's
- St Vincent De Paul (Ligoniel)
List of country parishes
Listed are country parishes listed by the Diocese of Down and Connor.
- Aghagallon & Ballinderry
- Ballyclare & Ballygowan
- Ballymoney & Derrykeighan
- Culfeightrin (Ballyvoy)
- Cushendall & Cushendun
- Drumaroad & Clanvaraghan
- Dundrum & Tyrella
- Duneane (Moneyglass & Toome)
- Dunloy & Cloughmills
- Dunsford & Ardglass
- Glenavy & Killead
- Lower Mourne
- Newtownards & Comber
- Saintfield & Carrickmannon
- Saul & Ballee
- Upper Mourne
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.
Ad Limina Visit 2017
Bishop Treanor joined other Irish bishops in February 2017 for the ad limina visit. Unlike previous visits there were no private meetings with diocesan bishops and Pope Francis, rather the latter spoke with the bishops together.
- John Fossade (1442–1450)
- Thomas Knight. O.S.B. (1453–1469)
- Tadhg Ó Muirgheasa (1469–1480)
- Tiberio Ugolino (1483–1519)
- Robert Blyth, O.S.B. (1520–1539)
- Eugene Magennis (1539–1559)
- Miler Magrath, O.F.M. (1565–1580)
- Donat O'Gallagher, O.F.M. (1580–1581)
- Bl. Conor O'Devany, O.F.M. (1582–1612)
- (Patrick Hanratty, vicar apostolic, 1614–1625)
- Edmund Dungan (1625–1629)
- Hugh Magennis, O.F.M. (1630–1640)
- (See vacant, 1640–1642)
- Heber MacMahon (1642–1643)
- Arthur Magennis, O.Cist. (1647–1653)
- (Michael O'Beirn, vicar apostolic, 1657–1670)
- Daniel Mackey (1671–1673)
- (See vacant, 1673–1711)
- (Terence O'Donnelly, vicar apostolic, 1711–unknown)
- James O'Shiel, O.F.M. (1717–1724)
- John Armstrong (1727–1739)
- Francis Stuart, O.F.M. (1740–1749)
- Edmund O'Doran (1751–1760)
- Theophilus MacCartan (1760–1778)
- Hugh MacMullan (1779–1794)
- Patrick MacMullan (1794–1824)
- William Crolly (1825–1835)
- Cornelius Denvir (1835–1865)
- Patrick Dorrian (1865–1885)
- Patrick MacAlister (1886–1895)
- Henry Henry (1895–1908)
- John Tohill (1908–1914)
- Joseph MacRory (1915–1928)
- Daniel Mageean (1929–1962)
- William Philbin (1962–1982)
- Cahal Brendan Daly (1982–1990)
- Patrick Joseph Walsh (1991–2008)
- Noel Treanor (2008–present)