Nottingham, England, May 15, 2015 / 01:02 am America/Denver (CNA).
On the news of his being appointed the Bishop of Nottingham by Pope Francis, Monsignor Patrick McKinney said that in his nearly four decades as a priest he has been conscious of God’s great mercy in his life.
“Throughout my priestly ministry, now almost 37 years, I have always tried to do my best in whatever has been asked of me,” he said in a May 14 statement.
“In this I have been deeply conscious of God’s abundant grace and mercy,” Msgr. McKinney continued, “and I have been greatly sustained by the prayerful support of my brother priests, the deacons and religious in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, and by the prayers of the parishioners whom I have been privileged to serve.”
“I have much to learn as I prepare to take up my new ministry within the Diocese of Nottingham, but am greatly looking forward to it,” he said.
Msgr. McKinney said he is “deeply conscious” of his predecessor, the current Archbishop of Liverpool Malcolm McMahon’s “rich legacy” and said he will continue the parish renewal work that was started with the “You are Living Stones” program.
He also thanked Msgr. Thomas McGovern, who for the last year has served as administrator of the Diocese of Nottingham.
Msgr. McGovern said he was “very pleased” to learn of the news and that Msgr. McKinney will “bring many fine qualities” to the Nottingham diocese.
“He will find a warm and friendly welcome here in this Diocese, and I speak on behalf of all the priests, deacons, religious and people when I say how much we are looking forwarding to working with him to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of the towns, cities and beautiful countryside of the East Midlands,” he said.
Msgr. McKinney will be ordained to the episcopate by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, on July 3 at St. Barnabas’ Cathedral in Nottingham.
As a parish priest for the Church of Our Lady and All Saints, both in the Archdiocese of Birmingham since 2006, Msgr. McKinney said that he will miss all those he served very much, but he is hopeful about his work as Bishop of Nottingham.
“I look forward to getting to know all the priests, the deacons, religious, and lay men and women of the Diocese, and also working alongside other Christians and those involved in interreligious work and dialogue in service of the wider community,” he said.
The 61 year-old was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham in 1978 after studying at St. Mary’s College in Oscott. His first assignment was as assistant priest at Our Lady of Lourdes and as chaplain for the St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, both in Birmingham.
Msgr. McKinney earned his Licence in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome in 1984. From there he returned to his alma mater in Birmingham where he taught fundamental theology, served as rector and was a lecturer in theology. In 1990 he was made a monsignor and in 1992 he became a member of the Metropolitan Chapter of St. Chad. He also served as Chair of the Birmingham Archdiocesan Ecumenical Commission for a time.
Msgr. McKinney was parish priest of St. John’s in Great Haywood and Episcopal Vicar for the north of the Archdiocese of Birmingham after he left St. Mary’s College in 1998. In 2001 he left his parish, but remained Episcopal Vicar until 2006 when he became parish priest of Our Lady of All Saints in Stourbridge and Dean of the Dudley Deanery.
The Diocese of Nottingham is made up of 108 parishes and is home to some 155,000 Catholics.