First Bishop of Galway to be younger than the cathedral

It is a sign of the passage of time that we now have a Bishop of Galway who is younger than the cathedral in which he serves. During his Sunday afternoon installation Mass, which was delayed a quarter of an hour due to traffic congestion on an unusually busy holiday Sunday in the city, he spoke of the high honor What does it mean to him to be appointed to work in the cathedral that he said he “lived up to Bishop Browne’s dream that he would be ‘strong, worthy and worthy of Galway’.

“It stands as a testament to the faith of the people of this locality and a visible daily reminder to lift our minds and hearts to God,” he said.

However, he also said that much of the Church’s infrastructure, its systems, its pastoral practices that were beneficial in the past now hinder rather than help the life of faith.

“Perhaps the Lord is asking us to cast our nets in a different direction. In the sense of a new and profound re-evangelization of ourselves.

More than 1,500 people attended the ceremony alongside the Papal Nuncio and Primate of All Ireland, as well as members of Bishop Duignan’s family and distinguished civic guests from the region.

Bishop Duignan opened his homily at the Installation Mass by happily quoting his mother and her reaction to the news that the ceremony is “an installation.”

“When I used the word ‘Installation’ in a conversation with my mom, she simply replied, “Couldn’t they find a better word for it? Installing something. washing machine or fridge-freezer.

Honored

“I am both honored and touched to be officially received and welcomed in this way by the priests and people of the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora. Established by Pope Gregory XVI in 1821, Galway is the youngest diocese in Ireland The first bishop was George Joseph Plunkett Browne, coincidentally, before his appointment, he was the parish priest of my native parish in Athlone and, like me, he was a priest of the diocese of Elphin.

“In 1883 Pope Leo XIII joined the Diocese of Galway with the Diocese of Kilmacduagh and appointed the Bishop of Galway Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora in perpetuum. I am aware that today marks a new historic milestone for believers in these regions.

“For, as we heard in his letter, Pope Francis has appointed, for the first time, a bishop to serve the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora and the venerable and ancient Diocese of Clonfert. This is a historic development, not only for the church communities in the parts of counties Galway, Clare, Mayo, Roscommon and Offaly which make up the two dioceses, but also for the Catholic Church on the island of Ireland. in its entirety.

“In contrast, these days sometimes you might be inclined to think that faith in God, or friendship with Jesus, or living by Christian Wisdom is something that will soon be a thing of the past. For various reasons, many no longer believe the message Many of our parishes are struggling, on so many levels, to sustain a vibrant community of faith.

“Despite the excellent work done by generations of priests, religious and laity, sometimes it feels like we’ve been out all night without a single catch. We can no longer ignore the fact that a large part of what the Church has built in Ireland over the past two centuries is crumbling before our eyes.

“The more I see, the more convinced I am that much of our infrastructure, our systems, our pastoral practices that have been beneficial in the past are now hindering rather than helping the life of faith. Here too, we find ourselves at a “threshold moment”. Inevitably, there will be a real sense of mourning in letting go, but these Easter days tell us that out of such death comes new hope and new life. Perhaps the Lord is asking us to cast our nets in a different direction. In the sense of a new and profound re-evangelization of ourselves.

“As individuals and as a community, perhaps we must now focus on rediscovering this living presence of the risen Christ among us. We need to relive the joy and excitement of his message. We need to rekindle our faith in His ability to transform our often broken lives and transfigure our suffering world for the better. We need to feel again that this joy, like all joy, is a joy that calls out to be spoken of boldly and shared respectfully with our fellow travelers on life’s journey.

Small faith community

“It is clear that in the future we will be a smaller community of faith, but with God’s help we will be a more faith-filled, vibrant, welcoming and rooted community. A community of faith that is aware of our individual human weakness while constantly striving to overcome that weakness with the merciful and healing help of God A community of faith that lives the message of Jesus in a way that speaks best in equal measure to the life of our fellow men and women, a religious community that builds bridges not barriers and reaches out with compassion to help those in need.

“A community of faith that is less afraid of those who see life differently from us. A religious community that finds its place in Irish society and an Irish society that finds a fair place for believers. A community of faith, filled with the sound of young voices, inspired by their idealism and driven by their energy. A community of faith, where people, priests and bishop walk side by side in a truly synodal way as companions in the great adventure that is the Christian way of life.

“I thank you, the priests and people of the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora for your generous hospitality. Thank you for receiving me and accepting me as a traveling companion on life’s journey. I pray and ask you to pray that, though flawed in many ways, I may, with God’s help, do good among you. Pray also that we renew our trust in the presence of the risen Jesus with us on the way. Pray that we will discuss, dialogue and discern together what he is calling us to do today. Pray for our commitment to act and work towards a future of new possibilities and new opportunities.

“As the month of May begins and we bask in the warm and hopeful light of these Easter days, let us not forget, as Saint Paul reminds us, to “give glory to God who, acting in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine”. “(Eph 3:20), St Nicolas, St Colman, St Fachanan, St Brendan, Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us Amen”, a- he concluded.

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