Pope Francis today appointed Dominican Bishop Malcolm Patrick McMahon of Nottingham, England, as the new Archbishop of Liverpool.
Archbishop-Designate McMahon replaces Archbishop Patrick Kelly who stepped down in January 2013 after suffering a stroke in 2012.
The archdiocese, one of the largest in the UK, covers Liverpool, the south west of Greater Manchester, West Lancashire and the Isle of Man.
Malcolm McMahon, 64, was born in London and graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He worked as an engineer for London Transport before entering the Dominican religious order in 1976. He was ordained a priest and was elected the order’s English Prior Provincial in 1992.
Speaking at a press conference in the Metropolitan Cathedral, he said he was “honoured and humbled” to be appointed.
The Archdiocese of Liverpool “has a long and proud history, rich in the tradition of missionary discipleship,” he added. “We just have to think of the many priests, deacons, religious and laypeople who have done so much to proclaim the Kingdom of God and who gave their lives in his service, and the Archdiocese’s parishes, churches and schools are living witnesses to God’s love for us,” he said.
“The rich and living Catholic heritage of the Archdiocese should inspire us and challenge us, and I know that I can rely on the prayers and support of the Catholic faithful as I take up the challenge which lies ahead of me.”
Bishop McMahon said he was “looking forward to working with my fellow Christians from other Churches and communities, people from all religious traditions, and civic and political leaders, building up the good relationships which already exist between us, in our endeavour to serve the common good.”
The English prelate has served as chairman of the bishops’ conference Department of Education and Formation and is national president of Pax Christi, the Catholic peace group. He is also chairman of the Catholic Education Service for England and Wales (CESEW) and chairman of the board of trustees for the Catholic Trust for England and Wales.
Mass attendance in the Archdiocese of Liverpool has declined in recent decades with 260,000 attending in 1960 and falling to 89,000 in 1998, according to The Catholic Herald. Current attendance is at 55,000, although the Vatican estimates 513,000 baptised Catholics live in the archdiocese.
The new archbishop will also be in charge of 328 priests, 106 permanent deacons 106, and 543 religious.