Bishop Alan McGuckian

Most Reverend Alan McGuckian SJ

Bishop of Down and Connor

Ordained Priest – 22 June 1984

Final Profession (Jesuit) – 15 February 1997

Appointed Bishop of Raphoe – 9 June 2017 

Installed as Bishop of Raphoe – 6 August 2017

Appointed Bishop of Down and Connor – 2 February 2024


Contact Details:

“Lisbreen”, 73 Somerton Road Belfast BT15 4DE.

Tel: (028) 9077 6185


Episcopal Motto

The new Bishop of Down and Connor has chosen the motto, ‘Et velle et perficere’ (God puts both the desire and the action into you” which is a passage taken from St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 2:13-16: “It is God for his own loving purpose, who puts both the will and the action into you. Do all that has to be done without complaining or arguing and then you will be innocent and genuine, perfect children of God among a deceitful and underhand brood, and you will shine in the world like bright stars because you will be offering it the word of life.”

This was also the motto of his former school, St MacNissi’s College, Garron Tower, Co. Antrim, where he was a post-primary student.

Episcopal Crest

The left half of Bishop Alan’s episcopal crest contains the arms of the diocese of Down and Connor. The lamb is a reference to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God (John 1:29); the crossed keys are a reference to the ‘Keys of the kingdom of Heaven’ entrusted by Christ to St Peter (Matthew 16:19).

The right half of the crest includes, on a blue background, the seal of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the scallop shell of the pilgrim of Santiago de Compostela, the traditional pilgrimage of St James. In Catholic heraldry the chevron stands for the rafter that holds up the roof of the church. Here it represents Mary, Mother and protector of the pilgrim Church on earth. The argent (silver) denotes her transparency or purity.