On Sunday 20 November, the priests and people of the Diocese of Clogher gathered in Saint Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan, to give thanks for the ministry of Bishop Emeritus Liam MacDaid, whose retirement was announced on 1 October last. The Mass of Thanksgiving was attended by family and friends of Bishop MacDaid, together with civic leaders and representatives of the parishes, Churches and Religious Congregations of the diocese.
The Chief Celebrant of the Mass was Mgr Joseph McGuinness, who was joined by Bishop MacDaid; Bishop Joseph Duffy, Bishop Emeritus of Clogher; Bishop Leo O’Reilly of Kilmore; Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore and the priests of the Diocese of Clogher, as well as a number of visiting priests. The homily was preached by Mgr Larry Duff PP, Carrickmacross, Dean of the Diocesan Chapter of Canons.
During the Concluding Rite, Bishop MacDaid was presented with a limited-edition print of Saint Macartan by local artist Neilus Flynn. To mark the bishop’s retirement, a set of specially embroidered copes will be presented to Saint Macartan’s Cathedral for use in the more solemn liturgies.
The Mass concluded with a Ceremony of Light during which lighted candles were presented and carried from the Cathedral to symbolise the continuing journey of the people of the diocese towards Christ our Light during the sede vacante.
Speaking at the Mass, Bishop MacDaid said “I offer my sincere thanks to the Diocesan Administrator, Mgr Joe McGuinness and the Canons of the Cathedral Chapter for their decision to convene this gathering. I offer my thanks to the Diocesan Liturgical Commission for producing such a worthy ceremony for the occasion. I thank the Communications Department for linking us to people in all parts of the world and I extend warm greetings to all of you who are looking in. I thank all of you here present. Your participation has made this magnificent building a living Church on this Feast of Christ the King.”
Bishop MacDaid also acknowledged the presence of Bishop Joseph Duffy, Bishop Emeritus of Clogher, saying “any progress graced by the Holy Spirit during the past six years has been built on the solid Foundation of Bishop Duffy’s work over those thirty one years”.
In his address, Bishop MacDaid praised the “exceptional team of good priests” serving the Diocese of Clogher. He also welcomed the “emergence of lay people and young people as a significant and powerful influence in the life of the diocese”. He noted in particular those involved in establishing links between the people of Clogher and the people of Kenya, and the work of Clogher don Óige, saying “The young people involved have been well trained and directed by excellent leaders. They have prayed and broadened their horizons on Lough Derg and in Taize. They have befriended and cared for the invalids, the challenged and the seriously ill in Lourdes. They have embraced the John Paul II Awards Scheme which involves them more deeply in parish and community activities and which was made possible with the help of sponsorship from the Knights of Colmbanus … Is beannacht dúinn Clogher don Óige agus tá maid buíoch do Dhia go bhfuil a léithéid againn. May your talents, your energy and your love continue to be put to good use in the service of God and his people.”
Bishop MacDaid concluded his words with the following prayer:
“Lord God, hear the prayers of your Church
and give us the strength of Saint Macartan,
faithful disciple of Saint Patrick.
May the Word of God be reborn in us.
May we in our time promote collaboration among the People of God,
and lend a supportive hand to those in our families and parish communities that may be in need.
May the Spirit of God sustain and strengthen us in our friendships with one another on our journey towards the light, in the kingdom of Jesus Christ the Lord, Amen!
Glóir don Athair agus don Mhac agus don Spiorad Naomh, mar a bhí ar dtús, mar a tá anois, agus mar a bhéas go bráth tré shaol na saol. Amen.”
Bishop MacDaid’s full address at the Mass of Thanksgiving can be read on www.clogherdiocese.ie.
Picture: Bishop-Emeritus Liam MacDaid hands on the flame of faith to Cathal Gorman during today’s Mass of Thanksgiving in St Macartans Cathedral. Cathal received the candle on behalf of the young people from Clogher Diocese.