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Pope Francis and Séamus Horgan.

Pope appoints Ennis Monsignor to new position in South Sudan

FROM a childhood altar server at Ennis Cathedal, Clare’s Monsignor Séamus Horgan has now been appointed by Pope Francis as the new Apostolic Nuncio to South Sudan.
The Ennis native from Tobarteascain, who attended St Flannan’s College and was ordained to the priesthood in Ennis Cathedral in 1994, will be based in the city of Juba.
According to his sister Anne Horgan, speaking to The Champion on behalf of the family, “The religious future of South Sudan is in safe hands”.
She said her brother, is “very honoured by the appointment” which was announced earlier this week.
She told us that religion has always been a large part of her family’s life and her late parents Pauline and Denis, who were heavily involved with the church in Ennis, would be very proud.
She recalled her brother became an altar server in Ennis Cathedral at the age of 10, remaining in the role throughout secondary school. “He was always interested in the church,” she said.
Anne said, “We grew up in a house where prayer and the church were very important to my parents Pauline and Denis. Prayer and the church were an intrinsic part of our lives from childhood.
“My parents were always very involved in the church and this obviously had an influence on us all.”
She recalled, “My parents were very happy when Séamus announced during his Leaving Cert year that he was going to go for the priesthood. I can actually remember being at the dinner table in Toberteascain when he announced it. Sadly both of my parents have passed away, but they would be very proud of his achievements, no doubt about that. But my mother would always have said, the most important thing is that he is a good priest first.
On behalf of myself and my brothers Dermot and Liam I would like to congratulate our brother.”
Welcoming the appointment, Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe, said,
“I warmly congratulate Monsignor Séamus Horgan on his appointment by Pope Francis to be Nuncio to South Sudan, based in the city of Juba. He is also appointed to the titular See of Árd Sratha – Ardstraw, Co Tyrone.
“A native of Ennis, past pupil of Saint Flannan’s College, Monsignor Séamus was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Michael Harty thirty years ago, in 1994, in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Ennis, Co Clare.
“Monsignor Horgan brings a wealth of pastoral and practical experience with him to his new role. A conscientious, diligent and prayerful pastor, his engagement with people is marked with great kindness and courtesy. He served with distinction in his appointments at local level in Bodyke and Roscrea in the diocese and in his various appointments since he entered the diplomatic service.
“I wish Monsignor Horgan every good wish and blessing in his important role and assure him of the prayers of the faithful of Killaloe Diocese. At this time there are three Apostolic Nuncios, originally from Ireland, in active diplomatic service for the Universal Church – and here in Killaloe we are very proud of the fact that two of them are natives of our diocese! Saints Matthias, Flannan and Senan pray for him.”
Monsignor Horgan entered Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth in 1987. After completing a BA at the National University of Ireland in 1990 and a Baccalaureate in Theology at the Pontifical University in Maynooth in 1993, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Killaloe on 11 June 1994.
Following six years of pastoral ministry in his Diocese, he was sent to Rome in the year 2000 for further studies. After completing a Licence in Canon Law, Pontifical Gregorian University, he joined the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome to prepare for the service of the Holy See.
Upon completion of his doctoral studies in Canon Law in 2005, he entered the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See and has served as Attaché and then Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Kampala from 2005 to 2008, Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Berne from 2008 to 2012, Secretary and then Counsellor of the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila from 2012 to 2015, Minutante or Desk Officer in the II Section of the Secretariat of State in Rome from 2015 to 2020, First Counselor at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington from 2020 to the present.
In 2008 he was appointed a Chaplain of His Holiness and in 2019 a Prelate of Honour. Monsignor Horgan speaks English, Italian and French; he has a working knowledge of German.

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