Newly installed Bishop McGuckian of Down and Connor: “have the triumphant Risen Lord before our minds every day”

17 Apr, 2024 | Bishops, Church, News

On Sunday14 April Bishop Alan McGuckian SJ (pictured above courtesy of Peter Thomas) was installed as the new Bishop of Down and Connor. The Mass was celebrated in Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast.

Hundreds of parishioners and guests joined Bishop McGuckian who was the celebrant and homilist. The concelebrants were Archbishop Eamon Martin, Metropolitan Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland; His Excellency, Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland; Archbishop Noël Treanor, Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union and Bishop Emeritus of Down and Connor; Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry; Father Bernard McGuckian SJ and Father Michael McGuckian SJ, who are brothers of Bishop McGuckian; Father Shane Daly SJ, Provincial of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Ireland, and Bishop Philip Boyce OCD, Bishop Emeritus of Raphoe. His Eminence Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, presided at the Mass.

In his homily, Bishop McGuckian said, “Today’s Gospel tells us all that we need to know about the Diocese of Down and Connor, its people, its clergy and its bishop. We are witnesses to this: Christ, the Son of God suffered and was put to death and He rose from the dead. It was not for His own sake but so that ‘in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations.’ We are witnesses to this. We have no other purpose.

“In the oratory in my house there are two pieces of stained glass. They are both images of the Risen Lord Jesus. In both He is dressed in white, and in one He is in the very act of stepping up out of the tomb. There are two angels visible over his two shoulders and three women in the foreground just about to have their minds blown by this awesome reality. In the other image He has His left arm raised, greeting the world, and in His right hand He is holding aloft the banner of victory.

“It will be important for me to look at those images every day. It is essential that every one of us have the triumphant Risen Lord before our minds every day. And, on this Third Sunday of Easter, He is right before us in the Gospel we have just read.

“The Risen Lord Jesus comes into sheer chaos; two of the followers were heading for the hills, feeling badly let down; those who stayed in Jerusalem gathered around the eleven as the cowered out of fear and self-pity. Eleven, not twelve; that is another window on the tragedy they were living through.”

To read the full text of Bishop McGuckian’s homily, click here.




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