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New Bishop of Meath will prioritise vocations

By Sarah Mac Donald - 07 September, 2018

“When Christ invited his own disciples to follow him, it was an invitation. That word of encouragement from priests, bishops and parishioners is part of it. We have to invite men to priesthood.”

From left Bishop Tom Deenihan, Archbishop Jude Thaddaeus Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio and Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop Emeritus of Meath. Pic John Mc Elroy

The new Bishop of Meath has said he will make vocations a priority and he urged everyone in the Church to play their part in inviting men to consider priesthood.

Speaking to Catholicireland.net, Bishop Tom Deenihan highlighted that his diocese has an ordination at the end of the month.

Rev Fergal Cummins, who proclaimed the Gospel at Bishop Deenihan’s episcopal ordination in the Cathedral of Christ the King in Mullingar, will be ordained a priest on 30 September by the new bishop.

“There is a need for vocations in our Church,” Dr Deenihan said.

He explained how in addition to the forthcoming ordination, Meath currently has three men studying for the priesthood.

“We are better than many [dioceses] but at the same time there is an ageing profile. I think we need to do what we can to promote vocations and part of that is encouragement.

“When Christ invited his own disciples to follow him, it was an invitation. That word of encouragement from priests, bishops and parishioners is part of it. We have to invite men to priesthood.

“Everybody who has come forward has responded to an invitation; invitation is always important – we don’t gate-crash weddings  … or ordinations!”

Asked about Pope Francis’ visit, Bishop Deenihan said people had told him that what resonated most for them as families was the Indian family’s testimony on technology and the Pope’s appeal to set aside phones and gadgets at mealtimes and make time for each other.

“One of the families that came up to greet me at the sign of peace has decided, following the Pope’s visit, to switch off technology and computers while at the table and to connect with each other,” he said.

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