Alan McGuckian

Alexander Aloysius "Alan" McGuckian SJ (born 26 February 1953) is an Irish Roman Catholic bishop and Jesuit. Since 2017, he has been the Bishop of Raphoe.[1] He is Ireland's first Jesuit bishop.[2]

Alan McGuckian

Coat of arms of Alan McGuckian.svg
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
MetropolisArchdiocese of Armagh
DioceseDiocese of Raphoe
Appointed9 June 2017
PredecessorPhilip Boyce
Ordination22 June 1984
Consecration6 August 2017
by Eamon Martin
Personal details
Birth nameAlexander Aloysius McGuckian
Born (1953-02-26) 26 February 1953 (age 67)
Cloughmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
DenominationRoman Catholicism

Early life and familyEdit

Born in 1953 in Cloughmills, County Antrim, in the Diocese of Down and Connor, he is the youngest son of Brian McGuckian and Pauline (nee McKenna). His father was a successful pig farmer who, with his brothers, went on to develop the world's biggest pig farm.[3]

Two of his older brothers, Fathers Bernard and Michael, are also Jesuit priests, while yet another brother, John B., is one of Ireland's most successful businessmen.[4] His two much-loved sisters have both died, Paula Haughey (2013) and Mary Dynan (2018). McGuckian went to The Queen's University of Belfast in 1971 to study Irish and philosophy, where he was a near contemporary of Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry, with whom he shared North Antrim roots and an education at St MacNissi's College, Garron Tower.

Religious lifeEdit

After one year in Belfast, he joined the Jesuit novitiate in Clontarf in Dublin, continuing his university education in University College, Dublin (U.C.D.), specifically for a degree in Spanish and Latin. He graduated in 1977 and progressed to study Philosophy in the Jesuit Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy and then Theology in the Toronto School of Theology (the Jesuit Regis College, University of Toronto), qualifying with a M.Div and STL.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1984 and spent a short time teaching in Clongowes Wood College.

In 1992 he was appointed Director of the Jesuit Communications Centre and in that role one of his notable successes was the development of the website, which harnessed new technology to offer people computer resources to develop a life of prayer.[5][6]

From 2011 to 2017 he worked fulltime in the Living Church office of the Diocese of Down and Connor, helping renew pastoral life across the diocese.[7]

He is a gifted preacher and noted ecumenist. In 2012, he co-authored a play, '1912 – A Hundred Years On', with the highly esteemed Irish Presbyterian historian Philip Orr which looked at experience of the Ulster Covenant and the wider Home Rule movement from both nationalist and unionist perspective.[8][9] His love of languages has continued throughout his life and he has been an annual visitor to the Donegal Gaeltacht, Bishop McGuckian also gained a Masters in Irish Translation from Queen's University, Belfast.[10]

Episcopal MinistryEdit

On 9 June 2017, it was announced that he had been appointed Bishop of Raphoe.[11] On 6 August 2017, he was consecrated a bishop by His Grace The Most Rev. Dr Eamon Martin, Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh.[2][12]


  1. ^ Donegal has a New Bishop of Raphoe, 9 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b "First ever Jesuit bishop ordained in Ireland". Catholic Herald. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
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  10. ^ Pope Francis appoints Father Alan McGuckian SJ as Bishop of Raphoe, 9 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Appointment of Fr Alan McGuckian SJ as Bishop of Raphoe". Diocese of Down and Connor. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  12. ^ Cheney, David M. "Bishop Alexander Aloysius (Alan) McGuckian, S.J." Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Philip Boyce
Bishop of Raphoe
Succeeded by