Roman Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor, (Irish: Deoise an Dúin agus Chonaire) is a Roman Catholic diocese in Northern Ireland. It is one of eight suffragan dioceses in the ecclesiastical province of Armagh, subject to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Armagh. The incumbent is Bishop Noel Treanor.

Diocese of Down and Connor

Dioecesis Dunensis et Connorensis

Deoise An Dúin agus Chonaire
Country Northern Ireland
TerritoryMost of counties Antrim and Down and part of County Londonderry
Ecclesiastical provinceProvince of Armagh
Coordinates54.924°N 6.102°W / 54.924; -6.102
Area934 sq mi (2,420 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
464,429 (45.7%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteLatin Rite
EstablishedDown and Connor united in the 15th century
CathedralSt Peter's Cathedral, Belfast
Patron saintSt Malachy and St MacNissi
Current leadership
BishopNoel Treanor
Metropolitan ArchbishopEamon Martin
Vicar GeneralEugene O'Hagan The Priests Monsignor Patrick Delargy
Bishops emeritusPatrick Joseph Walsh,
Bishop Emeritus of Down and Connor Anthony J. Farquhar
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus in Down and Connor

Territorial remit

The territorial remit of the diocese includes much of counties Antrim and Down, including the cities of Belfast and Lisburn and the large towns Antrim, Ballymena, Bangor, Carrickfergus, Downpatrick, Holywood, Larne and Newtownards. The population of the diocese is about one million, of which approximately 30% are Roman Catholic. The diocese is Ireland's second largest in terms of population (after the Archdiocese of Dublin). [1]


St Fergus (d. 583) is named as first Bishop of Down. The diocese of Connor was founded in 480 by St Macnissi, and St Malachy was bishop there (1124). The dioceses of Down and Connor were permanently joined in 1439.

In 1670, as an effect of the Reformation, wars, and penal laws, in the whole of Down and Connor there were only 2500 Catholic families. When at length the pressure of penal legislation was removed Catholicism revived rapidly.

In the period 1810–1840, due in part to Catholic emancipation in 1829, forty new churches were built. The progress thus made under Dr Crolly (1825–1835) and Dr Denvir (1835–65) was continued, as Belfast expanded as a city, under Dr Dorrian (1865–86) and Dr MacAlister (1886–95) and Dr Henry (1895–1908).

Current Episcopate

There are currently 88 parishes and ministries in the diocese served by 109 active priests. The Most Reverend Noel Treanor is the 32nd Bishop of Down and Connor. He was ordained to the Episcopate and installed as Bishop of Down and Connor on 29 June 2008.

Priests in Down & Connor serve in parish ministry, school chaplaincy, hospital chaplaincy, youth work, prison chaplaincy, teacher training colleges and teach in post-primary schools.

At the Diocesan Congress in 2013 Bishop Treanor launched a review to ensure pastoral activities within the diocese matched current resources. To that end a review of pastoral structures was initiated which drew on the 2011 census. Draft new pastoral communities were presented to the clergy in three meetings and then to the lay faithful. Significantly influencing the structures for the future was a regular practice rate across the diocese of 20% which suggested a greater sharing of personnel, skills and finances.

In October 2108 Bishop Treanor ordained the first permanent deacons for service in the diocese.[2]

Diocesan statistics

  • Number of Catholics = 329,243.
  • Number of Parishes = 88.
  • Number of Churches = 151.
  • Number of Priests in Diocesan Ministry = 131.
  • Number of Permanent Deacons in Ministry (2018) = 9
  • Number Ordained (2018) = 1.
  • Number of Retired Priests = 44.
  • Seminarians = 16.
  • Number of Brothers = 30.
  • Number of Sisters = 243.
  • St. Mary's College of Education on Roll = 994.
  • Number of Primary & Nursery Schools = 164 (On Roll = 32,306).
  • Number of Grammar Schools = 12 (0n Roll = 10,795).
  • Number of Secondary School = 31 (On Roll = 15,621).
  • Baptisms = 5,078.
  • First Communions = 4,533.
  • Confirmations = 4,730.
  • Marriages = 1,250.

(The Down and Connor Directory)

List of city parishes

Listed are city parishes listed by the Diocese of Down and Connor.

  • Cathedral (St. Peter's)
  • Christ the Redeemer (Lagmore)
  • Corpus Christi
  • Derryaghy
  • Drumbo & Carryduff
  • Greencastle
  • Hannahstown
  • Holy Cross
  • Holy Family
  • Holy Rosary Ormeau Road
  • Holy Trinity
  • Nativity, (Poleglass)
  • Our Lady Queen of Peace (Kilwee)
  • Parish of Antrim (St Comgall's and St Joseph's)
  • Sacred Heart
  • St Agnes'
  • St Anne's
  • St Anthony's
  • St Bernadette's
  • St Brigid's
  • St Colmcille's
  • St Gerard's
  • St James' (Whiteabbey)
  • St John's
  • St Luke's (Twinbrook)
  • St Malachy's
  • St Mary's
  • St Mary's-On-The-Hill
  • St Matthews
  • St Michael The Archangel
  • St Oliver Plunkett
  • St Patrick's St Patrick's Church, Belfast
  • St Paul's
  • St Teresa's
  • St Vincent De Paul (Ligoniel)
  • Whitehouse

List of country parishes

Listed are country parishes listed by the Diocese of Down and Connor.

  • Aghagallon & Ballinderry
  • Ahoghill
  • Antrim
  • Armoy
  • Ballintoy
  • Ballycastle
  • Ballyclare & Ballygowan
  • Ballygalet
  • Ballymena/Kirkinriola
  • Ballymoney & Derrykeighan
  • Bangor
  • Braid
  • Carnlough
  • Carrickfergus
  • Castlewellan
  • Coleraine
  • Crossgar
  • Culfeightrin (Ballyvoy)
  • Cushendall & Cushendun
  • Downpatrick
  • Drumaroad & Clanvaraghan
  • Dundrum & Tyrella
  • Duneane (Moneyglass & Toome)
  • Dunloy & Cloughmills
  • Dunsford & Ardglass
  • Glenariffe
  • Glenarm
  • Glenavy & Killead
  • Glenravel
  • Holywood
  • Kilcoo
  • Killough
  • Killyleagh
  • Kircubbin
  • Larne
  • Lisburn
  • Loughguile
  • Loughinisland
  • Lower Mourne
  • Newcastle
  • Newtownards & Comber
  • Portaferry
  • Portglenone
  • Portrush
  • Portstewart
  • Randalstown
  • Rasharkin
  • Saintfield & Carrickmannon
  • Saul & Ballee
  • Strangford
  • Upper Mourne

Ad Limina Visit 2006

Bishop Patrick Walsh, Bishop Anthony Farquhar and Bishop Donal McKeown met with Pope Benedict XVI on the first morning of their visit. They spoke with the Pope for 20 minutes privately in which they discussed things like Education, child sexual abuse, peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland[3]

Ad Limina Visit 2017

Bishop Treanor joined other Irish bishops in February 2017 for the ad limina visit. [4] Unlike previous visits there were no private meetings with diocesan bishops and Pope Francis, rather the Pontiff spoke with the bishops together. [5]



The following is a basic list of the Roman Catholic bishops and vicars apostolic.[6][7]

Auxiliary Bishops

See also


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