Archbishop Eugene M. Nugent was appointed apostolic nuncio to Kuwait and Qatar on Jan. 7. (Photo: Ennis Parish)
Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Eugene M. Nugent apostolic nuncio to Kuwait and Qatar.
Archbishop Nugent, 62, originally from Scariff in County Clare in Ireland, has spent the last six years as nuncio to Haiti and will transfer to Kuwait in mid-February.
A graduate in Celtic Studies from the National University of Ireland (Maynooth) and subsequently in theology and canon law at the Gregorian University in Rome, Archbishop Nugent also studied diplomacy and international relations at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome. He was ordained in Scariff on July 9, 1983, for Killaloe Diocese.
Having entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See on July 1, 1992, at the age of 33, he worked as secretary in the nunciatures in Turkey, Israel and the Palestinian Territories and subsequently at the Holy See study mission in Hong Kong from 2000 until 2010.
On Feb. 13, 2010, he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI apostolic nuncio and titular archbishop of Dunshaughlin. From 2010 until 2015, he was apostolic nuncio to Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles as well as being apostolic delegate to the Comoros Islands and the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean.
On Jan. 10, 2015, he was appointed apostolic nuncio to Haiti where he worked on the reconstruction of churches following the devastating earthquake of 2010. In 2019 and 2020, the Apostolic Nunciature in Port au Prince hosted a series of meetings under the auspices of the UN Mission in Haiti and the Organization of American States with a view to facilitating a political dialogue in order to end the political crisis in the Caribbean nation. The dialogue is still ongoing, with elections scheduled for later in 2021.
Although Christianity arrived in the Arabian peninsula before Islam, the Church there is a migrant and pilgrim Church, composed almost exclusively of expatriates. From the early 1990s, the Church has developed rapidly under the pastoral care of the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia. However, restrictions on the number of priests, the small number of churches and the limited space available in churches are significant pastoral challenges.