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Bishop Michael Smith meets Pope Francis

By editor - 22 June, 2015

Bishop Michael Smith meets Pope Francis at last Wednesday's general audience in St Peter's Square.

Bishop Michael Smith meets Pope Francis at last Wednesday’s general audience in St Peter’s Square.

Bishop Michael Smith of Meath met Pope Francis in person for the first time last week when he attended the Pontiff’s general audience in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday.

It was the Bishop of Meath’s first opportunity to meet Pope Francis since he was elected in 2013.

Dr Smith’s visit to Rome coincided with the ordination to the diaconate of Rev Warren Collier at the Basilica of St Paul’s Outside-the-Walls.

During the general audience, Pope Francis referred to his new encyclical Laudato Si on care of “our common home” – creation.

“This ‘home’ of ours is deteriorating and this harms everyone, especially the poorest”, the Pope said.

“Mine is, therefore, a call to responsibility, based on the task God gave to human beings in creation: ‘to till and keep’ the ‘garden’ in which he placed him (cf. Gen 2:15). I invite all people to accept with an open heart this document”, the Pope concluded.

warren collier diaconateAfter meeting the Pope, Bishop Smith joined Rev Warren Collier and his family and friends at the diaconate celebrations.

The following morning, the newly ordained deacon performed his first duties, preaching at Mass in the Pontifical Irish College, which was celebrated by Bishop Smith.

Rev Collier (41) is the fourth deacon in Diocese of Meath and the newest member of the clergy there.

The four deacons are due to be ordained to the priesthood over the next twelve months.

A native of Collon, he studied for the priesthood at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome.

His diaconate ordination was celebrated by Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of Edinburgh and St Andrews.

The ceremony took place at the Basilica of St Paul’s Outside-the-Walls in Rome on Wednesday 17 June 2015.

The first of these new priests will be ordained in Navan on Sunday 28 June where Rev Robert McGivney grew up with his family.

Two of the deacons, Rev Noel Weir and Rev Conor Magee, will provide pastoral assistance to parishes in the Diocese of Meath during the summer months while Rev Collier will minister for several weeks at St Patrick’s Parish, Bayshore on Long Island, New York.

Rev Collier was among seven deacons ordained from the Pontifical Beda College. The other deacons come from various diocese in Scotland, England, Nigeria and Australia.

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