The Diocese of Down and Connor has announced that Pope Francis has honoured Father Patrick Delargy, Parish Priest of Ballymena and Vicar General, and Father Joseph Glover, Diocesan Curia, by formally appointing them as “Chaplains to His Holiness”, with the title of Monsignor. The appointment took effect from Tuesday 29 October.
Monsignor Delargy, a native from Cushendun, after completing post-primary studies in St MacNissi’s College, Garron Tower, entered Saint Malachy’s Seminary, Belfast in 1965 to begin his studies for the priesthood. Taking undergraduate studies in philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast from 1965-1969, Monsignor Delargy continued graduate and post-graduate theological studies at the Pontifical Irish College, Rome. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome before completing a Licence in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1974.
He was ordained to the priesthood on 7 July 1973. Upon his return to the Diocese, he was appointed as a lecturer within St Mary’s College of Education and Dean of Residence in St Joseph’s College of Education (1974-1989). In August 1989, he was appointed as President of St MacNissi’s College, Garron Tower where he ministered until his appointment as Administrator of the Parish of St Colmcille’s, Belfast in August 2002. Since September 2009, Monsignor Delargy has served as Parish Priest of Ballymena and also as Vicar General since August 2017.
Monsignor Joseph Glover, a native of Holy Family Parish, Belfast, completed post-primary studies at St Malachy’s College, Belfast. He entered St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny where he commenced his studies for the priesthood and pursued graduate studies in philosophy and theology. He was ordained to the priesthood on 5 June 1982.
Monsignor Glover’s first appointment within the Diocese was as Curate of the parish of Downpatrick (1982-1985). In August 1985, Monsignor Glover was appointed as Curate in Glenravel. In December 1989, he took up appointment as Director of the Diocesan Child Care Services and, since 1991, he has served as Diocesan Secretary and Financial Administrator working within the Curial Offices, Lisbreen.
Commenting on the appointments, Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor said, “My congratulations go to Monsignor Delargy and Monsignor Glover on this joyful occasion and to the parish and diocesan offices in which they continue to serve. Along with the Priests, Religious and lay-faithful of the Diocese of Down and Connor, we are truly overjoyed and wish them many years of continued service of the Universal Church and fruitful ministry as priests of the Diocese of Down and Connor.”
The title “Monsignor” is an honorific form of address granted by the Pope, upon recommendation by his Bishop, to a diocesan priest who has rendered valuable service to the local church or who has provided a specific and specialised function in church governance. Because the title of monsignor historically designated a priest who served in the papal curia, all nominated monsignors are officially considered part of the papal household, whether they serve in the Vatican or elsewhere. In scaling back honorific positions within the Catholic Church in 2014 Pope Francis retained the category of “Chaplain to his Holiness” for any and all new nominated recipients. In keeping with Pope Francis’ reforms a “Chaplain to His Holiness” is only granted to a diocesan priest who is over 65 years of age.