Dear Friends, I am so grateful for your presence here today, your presence and prayer.
With all new beginnings it is right that we pray for and with each other.
May God’s Love and presence always be with us as we journey together.
I am grateful for the presence of my brother bishops- many of whom have travelled long distances to reach Monaghan. I appreciated your correspondence very much.
A special word of welcome to Bishops Emeritus, Joseph Duffy and Liam Mac Daid, you have served Clogher with great generosity.
I thank Archbishop Eamonn Martin for his kindness and support in recent times and for being chief consecrator today.
Thanks too to Archbishop Jude Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio for his assistance and help in preparing for today.
It was fitting that Bishop Noel Treanor who was ordained with me should be co- consecrator.
I thank Mgr Joseph Mc Guinness for the time and attention he gave me in preparing for the day to day work of a Bishop. On Behalf of all in the diocese I thank Mgr Joseph for his generous service to the Diocese over the last two years.
I welcome Bishop John Mc Dowell, Archbishop Jackson and the members of other Christian Churches. I hope we can continue the friendship and good work that has gone on for many years now.
I appreciate the presence of Minister Humphreys and other civic dignitaries.
Welcome to my friends from Africa: Mgr Joseph Mwongela, Fr Peter Murea , and Sr Meki from Kitui Kenya. I thank Fr Matthews Semba, our dear friend from Malawi for joining us today.
The presence of so many young people here today is heart-warming. The work of Clogher don Óige and in our schools is so important and vital for the future.
In welcoming my family members, I thank them for their support and love over a life time.
When the Diocese of Clogher became vacant, I frequently prayed in public that the Holy Spirit would guide those responsible for choosing a Bishop, and that the one chosen would be God’s Choice.What a shock when I was invited to serve. The God of surprises surely has a sense of fun. All I can promise is to do my best.
Recent days has seen much packing and shredding. In the process I came across a letter/ reflection written by me in 1975- the night before diaconate.
In it I wrote:
“My view of what I am taking on could never be put into one sentence. I know that the more I trust in you, Lord, the less worry I will have.
You have called me, Lord, I am your instrument, use me in whatever way you will. I will not always understand your will as exercised through people and events. Lord, from here on in it is you who will take care of me. I fling myself with all my weaknesses into your lap.”
My prayer today could be no different
However, what my priesthood has shown is that we don’t work alone with God. God gives us friends, and companions to journey with us. In every parish I have encountered people of immense faith lived out in a spirit of kindness; and generosity. Our faith and parish life has been blessed and enriched by such individuals.
May I suggest that today celebration is a practical example of this. – So many people going out of their way to enhance this celebration.
I thank all involved: car park attendants, Liturgy commission, the organising committee, all involved in today’s liturgy, and of course the choir and musicians.
I would like to conclude by focusing our attention on God’s greatest Gift- His Son, Jesus Christ.
He is the one who extends the hand of friendship and compassion to everyone, regardless of their situation in life.
He is not so much interested in past sin as in the grace of the present moment.
He invites us to follow him, to launch out into the depths of God’s Love.
He is the one who says “Walk with me “and I will lead you to that place of peace and Joy.
My Dear friends, may that be your experience of our faith.
Notes for Editors:
Bishop Larry Duffy is the Bishop of Clogher.
The Diocese of Clogher comprises all of Co Monaghan, most of Fermanagh and portions of Tyrone, Donegal, Louth and Cavan. It has a Catholic population of 88,000, across 37 parishes, which are served by 57 priests and 2 deacons. There are 85 churches in the diocese.
The patron of the Diocese of Clogher is St Macartan and the Episcopal Seat is in Monaghan.