The new Bishop of the Derry diocese, Dr. Donal McKeown, has described his new role as both a “great honour” and a “great burden”.
In an interview with ‘The Derry Journal’ Dr. McKeown talked openly and honestly about growing up in Randalstown, his love of GAA and his hopes and ambitions for the Derry diocese.
The son of clock maker, Dr. McKeown was the oldest of four children and on completing his studies at St. MacNissi’s College, Garron Tower, Dr. McKeown entered the Diocesan Seminary, Saint Malachy’s College, in 1968, and completed a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in German and Italian in 1973.
“Growing up in Randalstown was magic. I come from a big clan back home. There are a lot of McKeowns in Randalstown and my mother’s maiden name was McMeel - mum was a primary school teacher and I suppose it was through her I started to develop a love for education.”
Dr. McKeown will be officially installed as the new Bishop of the Derry diocese on Sunday and he said he hopes that he can help the church to develop and grow locally.
“Taking on the role of bishop is both a great honour and a great burden but if this is how the Lord wants me to carry out his work then that’s what I will do.
“I’ll let the people in a little secret. When I was Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor we got all of the good ideas of how best to manage a diocese from Derry - so anything that ended up working in Down and Connor did so because it was a success in Derry first,” he laughed.
Read the full interview with the new Bishop of Derry in this Friday’s ‘Derry Journal’.