Rector of Irish College appointed papal chaplainFriday, May 25th, 2012
The Rector of the Irish College in Rome has been nominated as a Chaplain to Pope Benedict XVI, an honorary papal title that elevates him to the position of Monsignor.
Monsignor Ciaran O’Carroll was appointed Rector of Rome's Pontifical Irish College last September. Previously, he served as the Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation in the Archdiocese of Dublin and administrator of the Catholic University Church on St Stephen’s Green, Dublin.
He has lectured in ecclesiastical history at a number of third level institutes in Ireland, including Holy Cross College in Clonliffe and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. The Dublin priest also served as secretary to the Council of Priests, Chair of the Dublin Diocesan Trócaire Working Group and was a member both of the Diocesan Council and the board of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.
He is the only one of four members of the Irish College’s clerical staff to be retained following the recent announcement that three other priest members of staff would return to their respective dioceses of Kilaloe and Ferns at the conclusion of this academic year where they would undertake new appointments.
Speaking to the Irish Times recently, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, a trustee of the seminary, which was founded in 1628, said the decision to return Fr Albert McDonnell, Fr Billy Swan and Fr Chris Hayden was, “related to the ongoing future of the college.” There are currently 23 Irishmen studying for the priesthood at the Irish College, out of 58 seminarians there. The other 35 seminarians hail from 22 countries.
Archbishop Martin suggested, “The big question the [apostolic] visitation never addressed was how Ireland at the moment can maintain two seminaries.”
Mgr O’Carroll succeeded Mgr Liam Bergin from the Diocese of Ossory, who had been Rector of the Irish College since 2001 and is now lecturing at Boston College in the US.
From Mount Merrion parish in Dublin, Mgr O’Carroll is the son of Tadgh (RIP) and Sheila O’Carroll; he has three sisters and two brothers. He holds a doctorate in ecclesiastical history and has authored several publications on the subject.
He is a graduate of University College Dublin, the Angelicum University, Rome, and the Gregorian University, Rome. He has ministered in a number of parishes including Naul, Sutton, Rathmines and Saggart prior to his appointment in Rome.
By Sarah Mac Donald