Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
November 30, 2009
New shepherd anticipates a ministry of presence
Newfoundland native takes over Diocese of Antigonish
THE ATLANTIC CATHOLIC
ANTIGONISH - Bishop Brian Dunn has been named by Pope Benedict to lead the Diocese of Antigonish.
Dunn, currently auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Sault Ste-Marie, Ont., will take over the Antigonish position made vacant when former Bishop Raymond Lahey resigned suddenly Sept. 26.
It was later learned that Lahey had been charged with the possession and importation of child pornography Sept. 25 after being stopped by a Canadian Border Services agent in Ottawa earlier that month.
Lahey is due to make his next court appearance Dec. 16.
"I look forward to coming to the people of Antigonish even recognizing there is a little difficulty there," Dunn said during a Nov. 21 interview.*
"I am very happy to be appointed. I am looking forward to working with the people . . . I am looking forward to getting down there, settling in and just trying to be with people in the midst of the difficult situation we are in."
"All I know is what I have learned through the media," Dunn said when asked about the allegations against Lahey.
Dunn said he was shocked at the charges against a fellow bishop he knew well.
"I am aware that this is causing great hurt for the people of the Antigonish Diocese."
Dunn has been an auxiliary bishop for a little more than a year. He was born in St. John's, NL, in 1955. He has two sisters in Newfoundland and one in Halifax.
He was ordained to the priesthood in 1980, serving in the Diocese of Grand Falls until 1988.
He then completed his doctoral studies in canon law at Saint Paul University in Ottawa in 1991. He returned to parish ministry and worked as vice-chancellor and chancellor for the Grand Falls Diocese while teaching theology in the Maritimes.
In 2002, he became a faculty member at St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ont. From 2005 until his appointment as auxiliary bishop of Sault Ste-Marie in 2008, he had served as dean of studies at the seminary.
A QUICK APPOINTMENT
Halifax Archbishop Anthony Mancini, who has been apostolic administrator of the Antigonish Diocese since Lahey's resignation, said Dunn's appointment was made quickly.
"The usual response to the situation that we are in would take nine months to two years when starting from scratch," Mancini said.
The Diocese of Antigonish has a Catholic population of 129,730 in 118 parishes and missions, served by 114 diocesan priests, three priests who are members of religious orders, one permanent deacon and 272 religious sisters.
The date of Dunn's installation has not been set.
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