Bishop Tom Deenihan is a native of Cork and, after attending Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, was ordained to the Priesthood on 1 June 1991 by Bishop Michael Murphy, the then bishop of Cork and Ross.
Bishop Deenihan served in a number of positions in the Diocese of Cork and Ross. He was curate in the parish of Glanmire from 1991 to 1994, was on the staff of Saint Goban’s College, Bantry from 1994 to 2003 during which time he also served as curate in Ballydehob, Kealkil and Bantry. In 2003, he was appointed Diocesan Advisor for Post-Primary Religious Education and in 2006 he was appointed Diocesan Education Secretary and Diocesan Education Secretary. In 2017, Bishop Buckley appointed him a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter in Cork.
In 2013, he was appointed Acting General Secretary of the Catholic Primary School Management Association and, in 2016, Acting Secretary of the Council for Education of the Irish Episcopal Conference. He has been involved in many Education enterprises and holds a Masters and Doctoral Degree in Education.
On 18 June 2018, Pope Francis announced his appointment as Bishop of Meath in succession to Bishop Michael Smith. On 2 September 2018, Bishop Deenihan was Ordained Bishop of Meath in the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar.
The Ordaining prelates were Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh, Bishop John Buckley, the Bishop of Cork and Ross and Bishop Michael Smith, the Emeritus Bishop of Meath.
Bishop Deenihan’s Crest features the three mitres on a black background, which is the crest of the Diocese of Meath as well as the Bantry Boat, an engraving from the Kielnaruane Pillar Stone in Bantry, where Bishop Deenihan worked, dating from the 8th century.
The Boat, normally pointing upwards, is surrounded by a sea of crosses and is an image for the Church on her destination towards heaven. It has also been represented as the Saint Brendan’s Boat. A silver seven pointed star also occupies the crest, a heraldic representation of the Blessed Virgin, the guide of travellers.
The crest also incorporates the colours of Red and Blue, representing Christ and the Virgin, representing many of the virtues and representative too of Cork and Bantry where Bishop Deenihan has roots.
His motto, ‘Illuminabit te Christus’ is taken from Ephesians 5:14 ‘Awake, O sleeper, arise from the dead and Christ will give you light.’ The quotation is also taken from an ancient writer in the Second Reading from the Office for Readings of Holy Saturday which depicts the dead Christ descending to Hades to meet Adam with the words, ‘Awake O sleeper, arise from the Dead and Christ will give you light’. He then restores Adam with the words ‘Rise, let us leave this place … The kingdom of Heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.”
Together, the Crest and Motto convey a sense of faith in both God’s presence and compassion as well as hope for the world to come and salvation.