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Bishop John McAreavey
Bishop John McAreavey
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Bishop John McAreavey takes break for "personal renewal"

The Bishop is the uncle to John McAreavey, whose wife Michaela was murdered while on honeymoon in Mauritius in January 2011.
Nov 13th 2012, 12:04 PM 6,945 9

BISHOP JOHN MCAREAVEY, the uncle of John McAreavey, husband of murdered Michaela McAreavey, is to take a temporary break for “personal renewal”.

In a statement, he said that as he enters the 14th year of his ministry as Bishop of Dromore he has decided to take a period of sabbatical leave from early February until September 2013.

During this period I plan to spend time in prayer and study in the Holy Land. While there, I shall follow courses on the Sacred Scriptures. I look forward to this time as a period of spiritual and personal renewal, which will enable me to fulfil the ministry of bishop with greater energy in the years ahead.

The Bishop said that the years since his ordination in September 1999 “have been both fulfilling and challenging”.

In recent times, along with my family, I have experienced great sadness and tragedy. Having consulted with colleagues and friends, I have now decided to undertake this period of personal renewal.

His nephew John McAreavey’s wife Michaela McAreavey, daughter of Mickey Harte, was found dead in their hotel room while on honeymoon in 2011. The bishop presided over both the couple’s wedding and Michaela’s funeral just weeks later.

He said he has informed the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown, and, through him, Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and has also spoken to Cardinal Seán Brady and other bishops. “They have given me their support and encouragement for my decision,” he said.

Monsignor Aidan Hamill, the Vicar General of the diocese, will administer the diocese during Bishop McAreavey’s absence.

The Bishop concluded:

I ask the faithful for their prayerful support at this time. I am deeply grateful for the love and care that they have always shown me. I look forward to this time of prayer, study and renewal and to returning to continue my ministry as Bishop of Dromore in September 2013.

Read: In pictures: GAA stars turn out to remember Michaela McAreavey>

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Aoife Barry

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