Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore has celebrated Mass on the ancient monastic site of St Declan in Ardmore, Co. Waterford. Bishop Cullinan has suspended public Masses in the diocese until 29 March as the nation tries to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. Bishop Cullinan delivered his homily in the ancient cathedral of Ardmore on Laetare Sunday and reminded the faithful not to lose focus on the supernatural life in these troubling times.
He said, “Our faith is being tested. Do I really believe in Jesus the Saviour in the midst of the global threat from the coronavirus? Can I say with the writer of the psalm in this morning’s liturgy –‘Though I walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear for you are with me’ (Psalm 23)
“As we stand here in Ardmore we can see the great round tower pointing to heaven which can inspire us to think of eternal things and the faith which St Declan and St. Ita and countless others brought to this part of the world. In our own Diocese it was here, around this holy place, that the name of Jesus Christ was first heard.
Concluding his homily, Bishop Cullinan said, “Faith in Him is still alive. Christ is with us and has overcome all things. Will I accept the invitation of the Saviour to follow him as the light of the world and my personal light too? Will I try to shine that light to others and believe that in the end the darkness will be overcome by the Light?”
Following the Mass, Bishop Cullinan went through the streets of Dungarvan with the Blessed Eucharist. He also stopped at the layby overlooking Dungarvan and gave a blessing to the area.