Pope Francis has appointed as bishop of Cork and Ross, Ireland, Fr. Fintan Gavin, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Dublin, currently archiepiscopal chancellor. He will replace Bishop John Buckley, whose resignation was accepted by the Holy Father.
The bishop-elect was born in Dublin in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1991. He holds a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
He has served in a number of roles, including chaplain and professor at the Saint Gerard School in Bray, and the Community School of Killinarden. Upon returning from Rome he was chaplain, assistant priest in the chancery of the archdiocese, and since 2017, chancellor of the Chancery of the Archdiocese of Dublin.
“Father Gavin will be missed in our Diocese where he is known for his experience, knowledge and personal warmth,” said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin. “I am personally very pleased that his contribution has been recognized by Pope Francis and that he will have an opportunity to bring his gifts and wide pastoral experience to the Diocese of Cork and Ross. He will be missed by all of us in Dublin but I know he will minister to the very best of his ability for the people of Cork and the wider Irish Church at the Bishops Conference level.”
“As President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, I extend my very best wishes and blessings to Father Fintan Gavin who has been appointed today by Pope Francis as the next Bishop of Cork & Ross,” said Archbishop Eamon Martin. “In recent years I have come to know Bishop-elect Fintan as a gentle, friendly pastor, and a hardworking priest and canon lawyer. I look forward to working closely with him at the national level.”
Bishop-elect Gavin is the second eldest of seven brothers and sisters. His family roots are in Marino, Saint Vincent de Paul Parish, on the Northside of Dublin. His grandparents and ancestors were from Midfield, Co Mayo, Newtown, North Co Dublin, and Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh. He played hurling and football with Saint Vincent’s GAA Club, Marino, and was a member of Marino Athletic Club. Prior to his seminary formation in Clonliffe College, Dublin, Bishop-elect Gavin had begun training as a residential social worker in Our Lady’s Hostel, Eccles Street, Dublin, from September 1983 – August 1984.
Bishop-elect Gavin was a priest-teacher at Saint Thomas’ Community College, Bray, Co Wicklow (1991-1994); Chaplain, Saint Gerard’s Junior and Senior School, Bray, Co Wicklow (1991-1994); Parish Chaplain, Holy Redeemer Parish, Bray, Co Wicklow (1991-1994); Priest-teacher, Killinarden Community School, Tallaght, Dublin 24 (1994-1996); Parish Chaplain, Parish of the Sacred Heart, Killinarden, Tallaght (1994-1996). On the nomination of the Archbishop of Dublin, post-graduate doctoral study, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, residing at the Pontificio Collegio Portoghese, Rome (1996-2002); Vice- Chancellor, Archdiocese of Dublin (2003- 2017), Parish Chaplain, Saint Andrew’s, Westland Row, Dublin (2002-2010); Parish Chaplain, Our Lady of Victories, Ballymun Road, Dublin (2010 -present), Chancellor, Archdiocese of Dublin (2017- present); Chaplain in the Dublin diocese to the Italian speaking community (2015- present); A member of the ‘Embrace’ Team, inter-church marriage preparation in Dublin (2002 – present). Member of Dublin Diocesan Advisory Committee on Incardination of Priests (2010 – present); Member of the Case Management Committee of the National Board for Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (2016 – present).
While serving in the inner city parish of Saint Andrews, Westland Row, Dublin, Bishop-elect Gavin collaborated in the initiative of the very successful ‘Second Chance Saturday’, Vigil Mass for Sunday, for those who had drifted from Church. This pastoral initiative invites and encourages people to give their faith a second change, reaching out through street ministry and offering social time and hospitality after Mass. Bishop-elect Gavin has led groups of young people to International World Youth Days in Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Krakow. He has participated as a chaplain to the Dublin Diocesan Children’s Pilgrimage to Lourdes each year during Easter Week, travelling with a group of children with special needs and their helper-volunteers to Lourdes, France, and collaborating with leaders who plan, fundraise and train together as helpers in advance during the winter and early spring months.
He worked with the music director over the last nine years, developing the Gospel Choir in Our Lady of Victories Parish, Ballymun Road, Dublin, who, with a young adult group, animate a Mass for Young People in the parish every Sunday evening. The choir was chosen to lead the liturgical singing during Pope Francis’ meeting with engaged and newly married couples at Saint Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, during the 9th World Meeting of Families in Ireland in August 2018.
The diocese includes Cork City and part of County Cork. It has a Catholic population of 220,000 across 68 parishes and its patron saints are Saint Finbarr and Saint Fachtna.