Sunday’s ordination in St Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan of Bishop Larry Duffy (67) left the 900-strong congregation with a ‘feel good’ factor.
The ceremony itself, lasting two and half hours, provided a stunning spectacle, with 19 bishops and 100-plus clergy resplendent in righly-coloured vestments filing, two abreast, up the centre aisle to the huge altar.
Bringing up the rear was the ordinand, late parish priest of Carrickmacross, flanked by Fr Michael Daly, PP Donaghmoyne (one time Curate in Enniskillen) and Fr Shane McGaughey, PP Castleblaney, a native of Trillick.
Fr Daly was a classmate in Carlow of the new bishop as was Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor who, along with the Apostolic Nuncio assisted Archbishop Eamon Martin, the chief ordaining prelate.
In addition to the laity from the 37 parishes in Clogher Diocese, there was a distinct cross-community presence, headed by Archbishop Michael Jackson,Dublin and the CoI Bishop of Clogher, John McDowell.
Also present were Heather Humphreys, Monaghan, the South’s Enterprise Minister and Howard Thornton, the chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh Council who was a classmate of Archbishop Jackson at Portora.
“I was delighted to accept the invitation to attend”, he said afterwards. “I was very warmly welcomed. It was a privilege to be here today”.
In addition to the spectacle, and the music and the singing, what won people’s hearts were the simple, yet powerful homilies delivered, first by Archbishop Martin and then Bishop Duffy.
Archbishop Martin urged the laity to be, ‘part of the new springtime’ for the faith: “We must never think”, he said, “as bishops and priests, that we are in this alone. Together we could haul in a huge catch for the Lord.”
In his turn, having been formally presented, at 4.20pm, with the bishop’s ring, mitre and pastoral staff, a more relaxed Bishop Duffy, joked ‘Any word from Inishkeen’, a reference to the NFl game then over between Monaghan and Galway.
The remark recalled his influence in Ederney parish which was represented, among others, by the Monaghan family.
Paula Monaghan told the Herald: “I knew he was destined for bigger things because he gave us all great hope.”
Her daughter, Eimear described Bishop Duffy as, ‘really good crack, a very generous and very kind person, especially to do with young people.”
In what was a painstakingly choreographed ceremony, two Cathedral-based clergy played an integral, yet unobtrusive part, directing traffic on and to the altar, the Master of Ceremonies, Fr Paddy McGinn, the cathedral administrator (previously Curate in Enniskillen) and his assistant, Fr Leo Creelman.
Fittingly, there was a noticeable involvement in the liturgy from across Fermanagh, through Deacon Martin Donnelly, Enniskillen (who read the Gospel), Paul Flynn (St Michael’s Parish, Enniskillen), the cantor for the Litany of the Saints and husband and wife, Ignatius and Agnes McCaffrey, Lisnaskea.
For Deacon Donnelly, it was his first time officiating at the ordination of a bishop.
“It was a great day for the diocese. It was wonderful to have Bishop Duffy as our leader in the diocese. He is a great pastor and we pray he will be guided by the Holy Spirit through his ministry as bishop.”
Posted: 2:30 pm February 15, 2019