Pope John Paul II appointed Mgr John Fleming, former Rector of the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, as Bishop of Killala yesterday. Mgr Fleming was born on 16 February 1948 in Ardpatrick, Co Limerick. He was educated at Saint Munchin's Diocesan College, Limerick and Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth where he obtained a Baccalaureate in Divinity in 1971. The new bishop was ordained priest for the Diocese of Limerick in 1972 and was curate in Saint Michael's Parish, Limerick City from 1972 to 1974, during which time he also acted as Assistant Diocesan Secretary. He attended 'Cursus Renovationis' at the Gregorian University (1974-1975) and worked in the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of Westminster (1975), returning to Limerick as Diocesan Secretary (1975-1979). Mgr Fleming obtained his Licentiate in Canon Law at the Gregorian University (1979-1981) and was re-appointed Diocesan Secretary and later Financial Administrator (1981). He served at the Pontifical Irish College, Rome as Director of Studies and later Vice Rector (1983-1993) and was appointed Rector of the College from 1993 to 2001. In 1993 he was made a Prelate of Honour of His Holiness, and in 1997 he was awarded a Doctorate in Canon Law from the Gregorian University. Mgr Fleming will replace Bishop Thomas Finnegan, who was ordained Bishop of Killala on 12 July 1987. Bishop Finnegan was born in 1925 and submitted his resignation to the Holy Father on reaching his 75th birthday on 26 August 2000. The Diocese of Killala has a Catholic population of 38,000 in 22 parishes, and includes portions of Counties Mayo and Sligo. St Muredach's Cathedral is located in Ballina, Co Mayo. * Today's Irish Independent writes that Mgr Fleming is a friend of 007 star Pierce Brosnan. They met in Rome when Brosnan was filming The World is Enough, at the Irish College in 1999. Mgr Fleming attended Brosnan's wedding to Keely Shaye-Smith at Ballintuber Abbey, near Castlebar Co Mayo last summer. source: Irish Bishops Conference
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