World Premiere of Oratorio
“The wedding Feast of the Lamb”
at St. John the Evangelist Church on S. 13th Street,
Thursday, 24 September 2015, 8:00pm
Good evening all and welcome all.
My name is Bishop Liam S. MacDaid of the diocese of Clogher in Ireland. I am here in Philadelphia since last Monday with six others who form the delegation representing the Irish Episcopal Conference.
At the World Meeting of Families, like Pope Francis, we have received a warm welcome and we have been well looked after.
We have also made contact with many of our fellow countrymen and women who have come to this country to exercise their talents and make a life and a living for themselves and their families. Yesterday afternoon we visited the somber and poignant Famine Memorial which we found very moving. It calls to mind traumatic times for our people when many starved to death and our population was decimated. After that visit we had Mass in St. Anne’s Church with a high level of participation.
Yesterday evening brought it home to us that our people are still deeply committed to the faith and that there is no danger of them forgetting to respect the past as they remember the legacy and generosity of service of those who went before them.
I would also like to introduce and welcome the delegation from England and Wales who are present this evening. This evening promises to be one of the highlights of our visit. The joint choirs of Villanova University, the Villanova Voices and Singers will perform Cormac O’Duffy’s new oratorio.
The Irish are a small talented island people who punch well above their weight in the artistic field. Cormac O’Duffy joins a long list of talented writers, musicians, artists, and athletes who have achieved Olympic standards.
We congratulate Cormac on his achievement. We look forward eagerly tonight to hear his work and we wish him success and fulfillment in his future undertakings.
My final task this evening is a pleasant one. To read a message of congratulations and of blessing of his future work from a fellow musician, no other than, the Archbishop of Armagh and the Primer of all Ireland, Most Reverend Eamon Martin D.D.
I wish every blessing and success on your gathering this evening. May the music you hear touch your heart and soul. May it lift you up and through the grace of the Holy Spirit bring you closer to God.
God Bless you!
+ Liam S. MacDaid
24 September 2015