Today, the People of God in the Diocese of Clogher rejoice as a new priest – Fr Kevin Connolly – is ordained for our diocese in St Macartan’s Cathedral during a very uplifting liturgy. Fr Kevin is the first priest ordained by Bishop Larry Duffy. We congratulate Fr Kevin and pray that God will continue to bless him in his ministry among us. We also congratulate his family – his parents Paddy and Kathleen and his brothers and sisters – together with the wider family and, also, the people of the Parish of Donagh.
Here is the homily of Bishop Larry Duffy –
HOMILY BY BISHOP LARRY DUFFY AT THE ORDINATION OF FR KEVIN CONNOLLY
St Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan. Sunday 30 June 2019
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Kevin, the people of God in the Diocese of Clogher await your arrival. God is preparing them to welcome you. Go forth confidently in the knowledge that God walks with you!”
‘Kevin, we rejoice with you and your family and friends today. It is a day of great joy for us all in the Diocese of Clogher. So often we pray for vocations to priesthood and religious life and today, God is answering our prayers. We offer our thanks to the Lord.
‘Isn’t it truly wonderful how God engages with us in building up the kingdom? He invites us to in the work of his love, he calls us to be part of his team.
‘In today’s First Reading (I Kings 19:16,19-21), God calls Elisha in the middle of the days work – very ordinary work, out ploughing in the field. Elisha responds by firstly visiting his family and celebrating with his co-workers. But in doing that, he does something remarkable – he slaughters the oxen and burns the plough, the implements of his old profession and of his livelihood. Yes, in doing this, he expresses his trust in God and in the hospitality of the people to care for him. We thank God that this spirit of care, support and hospitality is still very much alive in our Diocese of Clogher.
‘Kevin, in becoming a priest, Jesus Christ calls you to be his companion. He calls you to spend time in his company; he calls you to ponder his life and message and he calls you to celebrate his presence in the sacraments and in life. This is at the very heart of priesthood.
‘Christ also sends you out in his name to be a leader in the community of faith that is his Church. This is a call to serve.
‘Pope Francis speaks about Christian leadership. He tells us that, as priests,
- Sometimes we go before people, pointing the way;
- At other times we walk with people, especially on occasions of celebrating joy and sadness, like weddings and funerals – and on occasions like today.
- And then there are times when we walk at the rear, helping those who lag behind and, importantly, encouraging those with gifts of leadership. This particular form of leadership will be especially important from now into the future as we have less priests, but most especially, as we enable lay people to take on leadership roles in our Church at various levels.
‘Wherever we find ourselves we must always allow God to surprise us by his gracious presence and action in people’s lives – often where it is least expected.
‘Kevin the people of God in the Diocese of Clogher await your arrival. God is preparing them to welcome you. Go forth confidently in the knowledge that God walks with you!’
Notes for Editors
- The Diocese of Clogher encompasses 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. Bishop Larry Duffy is the Bishop of Clogher since 10 February 2019. St Macartan is the patron saint of the diocese.
- Fr Kevin Connolly is a native of Glaslough in the Parish of Donagh. He will celebrate his first Mass in St Mary’s Church, Glennan (Glaslough) tomorrow evening (Monday) at 7pm. All are welcome.