Updated: 03/05/13 : 06:47:48
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Former Sligo town priest is new Bishop of Kerry

A PRIEST who served in Sligo town for seven years is the new Bishop of Kerry.

Fr Raymond Browne was based in St Mary's from 1995 to 2002.

Previously he had served in Sligo as Spiritual Director at Summerhill College from 1983 to 1986.

The new Bishop was educated at Summerhill from 1969 to 1974.

Fr Browne, 56, has since 2008 been responsible for the safeguarding of children in the Diocese of Elphin while  serving as a parish priest in County Roscommon.

A canon lawyer, he has worked as a judicial vicar in Elphin, judging cases that come the diocesan ecclesiastical court.

Vatican Radio announced the appointment by Pope Francis yesterday, Thursday.

In a statement of welcome Cardinal Sean Brady said last night that he had known Fr Brown "for many years" and said that Bishop-elect Brown "will prove to be an excellent and gentle pastor, a faithful teacher of the faith and a trustworthy and generous leader".

Fr Browne's move to Kerry is the fourth episcopal appointment in the Irish Church in six months. Last March, seven out of 26 dioceses needed new bishops.

On appointing Bishop-elect Browne, the Pope accepted the resignation of Bishop William Murphy, who has reached the retirement age of 75.

The new Bishop also has directly met in the past with the Papal Nuncio, Charles Brown.

Fr Browne is still a surprise choice, not least since he is currently serving in the Elphin diocese. He has never served in Kerry.

He has never featured publicly in shortlists for the vacancy which exists here in Elphin.

Bishop Christy Jones in Elphin submitted his resignation when he turned 75 in March 2011.

The process of naming a successor can take two full years. Sligo Today 25/6/2012

A native of Athlone, Fr Browne is aged 56 and his CV lists extensive experience in marriage counselling and child protection.