Pope Francis has appointed a new Bishop of Paisley. Father John Keenan is to take up the position which has been vacant since September 2012 when Bishop Philip Tartaglia became Archbishop of Glasgow.
The 49-year-old Glaswegian is currently the priest at St Patrick’s, Anderston, as well as University of Glasgow’s Chaplain (Turnbull Hall) and vocations director for the archdiocese of Glasgow.
Bishop Elect Keenan said: “While nervous at my appointment, I have been very uplifted at the congratulations and good wishes I have received so far which have given more confidence.
“Everyone I speak to says Paisley is a wonderful diocese with good priests and people full of faith. I am looking forward to being with my brother priests, many of whom I already know really well, and getting to know the people and the parishes of the diocese. I hope just to settle in and listen a lot.”
Bishop Elect Keenan will become Scotland’s youngest bishop following his episcopal ordination on 19 March.
Father David Boyd has been the administrator of the diocese of Paisley in the interim.
The installation of the new bishop will take place at St Mirin’s Cathedral in Paisley.
Welcoming the appointment of his successor, Archbishop Tartaglia said: “Father Keenan has been a much-loved and respected parish priest, and an inspirational Catholic chaplain to Glasgow University (Turnbull Hall). His appointment gives me a huge headache in trying to replace him. But, in the Church, when one part of the body is made stronger, the whole body benefits.”
The diocese of Paisley was established in 1947 to serve the Roman Catholic community in Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire – excluding Thornliebank.
Although a small diocese in geographical terms, it serves an eighth of the Catholic population of Scotland.
The appointment of Bishop Elect Keenan, is the third Scottish episcopal appointment made by Pope Francis since his election in March last year.