THE NEW bishop of Menevia, the diocese with the biggest area and smallest population in England and Wales, is an Ulsterman, Mgr James Hannigan.
Mgr Hannigan, 55, who was named by the Pope at the weekend, will be consecrated bishop in the Cathedral at Wrexham on November 23.
Mgr Hannigan was born in Glenfinn, County Donegal, the son of a farmer.
Mgr Hannigan recalled this week that he had decided to go to Menevia when a friend who had served as a priest there encouraged him. "It was regarded as a mission territory on the doorstep," he said, Mgr Hannigan knows Menevia well, having been made Bishop Petit's secretary in 1958. He has been Vicar General since 1974 and has administered the diocese as Vicar Capitular since the translation of Bishop Ward to Cardiff in June last year.
The priority for his episcopal work will be the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Mgr Hannigan, like Archbishop Ward, does not speak Welsh. But he says that he is sympathetic to the promotion of the Welsh language.
Mgr Hannigan's recreation is walking with his dog. The dog's name is Chidgey, after Canon Gerald Chidgey of Cardiff.