La Ceiba and Bay Islands Have New Bishop

Pope Benedict XVI has created a new diocese in La Ceiba, and appointed the first bishop. The new diocese comprises the departments of Atlántida and the Bay Islands of Honduras, with 12 municipalities. It is a subordinate of the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa. San Isidro Labrador Parish Church of La Ceiba will be the Cathedral of the new diocese.

Ángel Garachana, Bishop of the Diocese of San Pedro Sula, reported, “The Pope has erected the new diocese of La Ceiba, separate from the San Pedro Sula territory.” “It’s a large diocese with more than 600,000 inhabitants”.

The Pope appointed Rev. Fr. Michael Lenihan, O.F.M., former Vicar General and Pastor in the Diocese of Comayagua, Honduras, as the Bishop of the new Diocese of La Ceiba. Rev. Lenihan is expected to arrive on or before January 4, 2012. He will be ordained on February 11th, 2012.

Rev. Fr. Michael Lenihan, O.F.M, was born on September 22, 1951 in Abbeyfeale, in the diocese of Limerick (Ireland). After his primary and secondary studies, he entered the Franciscan novitiate in 1972, he studied philosophy at the National University of Galway, Ireland (1973-1976), and theology in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (1976-1979), and at the Pontifical Gregorian University (1979-1980). He made his solemn Profession in the Order of Friars Minor on September 17, 1977 and was ordained a priest on July 12, 1980. He belongs to the Franciscan Province of the Friars Minor of Central America and Panama.

After ordination, he has held the following positions: 1980-1982: Director of the Spiritual College Multyfarnham, Ireland; 1982-1984: Vicar of the Convent, Wesford, Ireland; 1984-1989: Parish Vicar of the Parish of St. Francis in Gotera, Morazán, diocese of San Miguel, El Salvador; 1989-1997: Guardian and Pastor of the Parish of St. Francis in Gotera, Morazán, diocese of San Miguel, El Salvador; 1997-2000: Guardian and Parish Vicar, La Palma, Chalatenango, El Salvador; 2000-2009: Guardian and Pastor of the Parish of Santos Martires, Comayagua, Honduras; 2004-2008: Provincial Councilor of the Region of Honduras; 2001-2009: Vicar General of the diocese of Comayagua; since 2009: Guardian of the Fraternity of St. Bonaventure of the Provincial Curia of the Friars Minor and Vicar of the Parish of the Parish Inmaculada Corazón de María, Guatemala.

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