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Ex-school chaplain appointed bishop

A Roscommon priest has been appointed Bishop of Kerry.

Raymond Browne was announced as the new diocesan leader at morning mass in Saint Mary's Cathedral, Killarney, on Thursday.

"I am deeply honoured that Pope Francis has chosen me to be your Bishop," he said. "It is with great humility I present myself to you.

"I am conscious of the great diocese this is. I am conscious of the way the faith has been lived in all the parishes, church areas, religious houses and communities, schools, and all the faith communities throughout the diocese by this and previous generations."

Father Browne was ordained a priest for Elphin Diocese in 1982, which covers parishes in counties Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath.

He is 56 and from Athlone. He has worked as a canon lawyer, a school chaplain and in parish work, and has more recently been parish priest in Ballagh, Co Roscommon.

Outgoing Bishop of Kerry Bill Murphy paid tribute to his successor.

"He brings to his new ministry a wide range of administrative skills and pastoral experience which he has acquired through the various ministries he has exercised up to now," he said.

"I believe his appointment will greatly benefit the Church in the diocese of Kerry and will also contribute significantly to the work of the Irish Episcopal Conference and its commissions and agencies."

Bishop of Roscommon Christopher Jones said: "Father Browne has always exhibited a particular strength and sensitivity when dealing with the vulnerable, marginalised and lonely in our community. He is a highly intelligent man and the most approachable of pastors."

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