On Pentecost Sunday, 9 June 2019, Bishop Larry Duffy gave the Address at the annual Ecumenical Prayer Service for Pentecost which was held this year at St Molua’s Church, the ancient and original place of Christian worship in his native parish of Magheracloone. The service was led by Bishop Duffy and his Church of Ireland counterpart, Bishop John McDowell. They were joined by Reverend Colin McConaghie, Rector of the Carrickmacross Union, Magheracloone and Ardragh Group of Parishes, and Monsignor Joseph McGuinness, Parish Priest of Carrickmacross and Administrator of Magheracloone, Fr Philip Crowe CC, Magheracloone, and other clergy. The Cantemus Chamber Choir from Carrickmacross also added much to a well-prepared liturgy, one which was very well attended by people, including many families, from various Churches across the south-Monaghan area and the diocese generally.
The following is the text of the Address delivered by Bishop Larry Duffy on what was his first official visit to his native parish since becoming Bishop of Clogher in February last.
‘I am delighted to be back in my native parish. This is a place of many memories for me, especially from my early years. As a child I fished for trout in Camaghy River near this church. I played for Magheracloone in a field just off the main road before the new pitch was opened.
‘I am also delighted to be here on such a special day as we recall that on the first Pentecost the disciples all met in one place. We gather today in this sacred place as God’s people. We call on the Holy Spirit to guide us and strengthen us in our following of Christ.
‘Our Churches have so much in common – our belief and faith in one God, in Jesus Christ our Saviour, in his death and resurrection; we baptise in the name of the Trinity and we all try our best to live by the command to love one another.
‘The challenge in all our churches is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ today – to be a person of faith, hope and love.
‘On the first Pentecost, despite the variation of languages, we are told that the disciples all understood each other. Our common language is love – it is a language that is understood by all. The Holy Spirit is our guide and our teacher. May the Holy Spirit lead us all to the fullness of truth and faith.
‘On this Feast of Pentecost, let us conclude with some verses of a prayer addressed to the Holy Spirit:
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Light immortal, light divine;
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
and our inmost being fill
Give us comfort when we die;
Give us life with thee on high;
Give us joy that never ends.
(Sequence for Pentecost Sunday)
May the Holy Spirit find a home in the heart of each one of us.