Today, His Holiness Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop John McAreavey as Bishop of Dromore. Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Philip Boyce OCD, Bishop emeritus of Raphoe, as the Apostolic Administrator ‘sede vacante’ (Vacant See) of Dromore.
As Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Philip Boyce OCD will oversee the pastoral needs of the faithful of the diocese and will begin his residency on Holy Thursday with the celebration of the Mass of Chrism and for the Easter ceremonies.
An Apostolic Administrator is appointed to temporarily govern a diocese when special or serious circumstances warrant such an appointment. He governs in the name of the Holy Father and has all the powers and duties of a diocesan bishop. The meaning of ‘sede vacante’ is ‘vacant See’.
Bishop Philip Boyce was born in Downings, Co Donegal, on the 25 January 1940. He joined the novitiate of the Discalced Carmelites in Loughrea, Co Galway, making his first profession in 1959. Having completed philosophical studies in Dublin, he studied theology at the Teresianum in Rome, where he was ordained on the 17 April 1966. He received a doctorate in theology (DD) in 1977 with a dissertation on the spirituality of Cardinal John Henry Newman.
During his twenty years on the teaching staff of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of the Carmelites in Rome, he taught spirituality and dogmatic theology, and for many years was engaged in the work of formation of students preparing for the priesthood and doing postgraduate studies.
Bishop Boyce was ordained Bishop of Raphoe on 1 October 1995 in the Cathedral of Saints Eunan and Columba in Letterkenny, Co Donegal. On 9 June 2017 Pope Francis accepted his resignation as Bishop of Raphoe. Bishop Boyce’s episcopal motto ‘In the Service of Mother Church’ is of Carmelite origin. It sums up the mission he sees entrusted to him in the Episcopal ministry: one of service to the people of God in the diocese and to the whole family of the Church.