Tuesday, 24 March, will be the feast day of St Macartan, patron and first bishop of the Diocese of Clogher. Tomorrow, Tuesday at 7pm, Bishop Larry Duffy, Bishop of Clogher, will celebrate Mass to mark the feast in St Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan. Bishop Duffy will also preach the homily, in which he will assure the people of the diocese of the presence of God among us in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This Mass will be broadcast online via webcam on www.clogherdiocese.ie or https://www.mcnmedia.tv/camera/st-macartans-cathedral-monaghan and everyone across the diocese and beyond is invited to participate spiritually. It is also planned to broadcast the Mass via Facebook Live on the Diocese of Clogher Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/dioceseofclogher/
Normally on the feast of St Macartan there are a series of celebrations in the schools dedicated to his name and among the priests of the diocese, together with the bishop. This year, we are all united in prayer for our families and communities, our Church and our country at this anxious time. Bishop Duffy asks that we use this opportunity tomorrow as another demonstration of our faith, a moment of prayer and an act of spiritual union with Christ our Saviour.
St Macartan, who died in the year 506, was a companion of St Patrick in his mission of spreading the Christian faith throughout the northern part of Ireland. It is said that when Patrick became old and was less able to travel, Macartan would carry him on his back, thus earning the title tréan-fhear Pádraig – the strong man of St Patrick. St Macartan was given charge of the Church of Clogher by St Patrick and thus is regarded as the first bishop of what would, over the centuries, become the diocese it is today, stretching from the Atlantic ocean at Bundoran in Co Donegal almost to the Irish Sea in Co Louth.