By Sarah Mac Donald - 26 September, 2016
The new Bishop of Killaloe has signalled he would like to invite Pope Francis to visit his diocese should the Pope come to Ireland in 2018 for the World Meeting of Families.
In his address after his consecration in Ennis Cathedral, Bishop Fintan Monahan said that when he was in Rome last week, for what is colloquially referred to as the ‘baby-bishop’s course’, he had met the Pope.
He said that even though the Pope has little English and he has even less Italian – “in our conversation we agreed to pray for each other and those to whom we minister”.
The Church’s newest bishop continued, “I didn’t manage to invite him to include Killaloe in his itinerary if he decides to come to Ireland as part of the World of Meeting of Family celebration which will take place in Dublin on 22 – 26 August 2018, but I will have another opportunity to speak to Pope Francis during the Irish bishops’ Ad Limina visit to Rome in January, please God! We wait in hope!”
Describing it as a “busy and wonderful year in the Church” through the celebration of the Year of Mercy, the new bishop noted that there had also been the recent canonisation of Mother Teresa – “a saint for our day who spoke of the dark struggle, challenge and huge effort that is part of each and every Christian’s faith journey”.
He said that as part of the preparation for the great gathering of families in 2018, Pope Francis had given the faithful the apostolic exhortation on love in the family, The Joy of Love, to nourish them in spirit.
On the objectives ahead, he indicated that his priorities would be vocations promotion, care of the clergy, faith renewal, evangelisation, continuing and expanding the great involvement of laity, youth ministry, religious education, safeguarding children in the Church, the protection of life, family ministry, liturgy, Eucharistic Adoration, bridging the east-west socio-economic divide which exists in Ireland, the role of Church in contemporary society, the falling away of sacramental practice, finding new ways to communicate the joy of the Gospel.
The chief ordaining prelate at the ordination Mass was Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly of Cashel and Emly, who was assisted by Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam and the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown.
The apostolic mandate from Pope Francis was read by Fr Albert McDonnell, Chancellor of the Diocese of Killaloe.
The sermon was preached by Canon Brendan Kilcoyne of Athenry, Co Galway.
Over twenty bishops concelebrated the Mass including Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of All Ireland, Bishop Willie Walsh, Bishop Emeritus of Killaloe along with priests from Killaloe and Tuam.
Other Christian denominations represented at the Mass included Bishop Kenneth Kearon, Church of Ireland Bishop of Killaloe and Limerick; Rev Shannon de Laureal, Leader of the Methodist Church, Midlands and Southern District; Pastor Chinwe of the Evangelical Church and Madge Rainsford, Chairman of the Baha’i Community Ireland.