St Macartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan was packed to capacity for the Episcopal ordination of the new Bishop of Clogher, Larry Duffy.
Bishop Duffy was ordained on Sunday by Archbishop Eamon Martin.
The Diocese of Clogher includes part of Donegal south of the Erne and stretches almost right across the country. It takes in most of Fermanagh, all of Monaghan as well as parts of Tyrone, Cavan and Louth.
Archbishop Martin began by welcoming the assembly of lay people, priests and other religious orders. He had a special word of welcome for bishops emeriti Joseph Duffy and Liam McDaid as well as Monsignor Joseph McGuinness who administered in the diocese since Bishop Liam McDaid retired.
Archbishop Martin said: “Over the west door of this splendid cathedral, there is a marble relief of Christ handing the keys to Peter to be shepherd of God’s people, and alongside it are statues of Saint Peter and Saint Paul - the great missionaries of the early Church. It reminds us that our new bishop, Larry, by the laying on of hands, will become both your shepherd and your teacher. Let us pray for him as he begins this new ministry and mission among you.
“And we call also on the great saints of Clogher to pray for him and guide him - Saints Macartan, Tiarnach, Molaise, Davog, Davnet, Fanchea and Molua. It is a great honour for me, in the name of Saint Patrick of Armagh, to join in the ordination of the next successor of Saint Macartan.
"I welcome you, Monsignor Larry, I wish you every blessing on this special day. Know that you are surrounded with love and prayer on this great occasion.”
Bishop Larry Duffy comes from the parish of Magheracloone where he was born in November 1951. His parents were the late Thomas and Elizabeth Duffy. He has three living siblings - his sister Anna and brothers Patrick and Peter. Their other brother Brendan died two years ago.
On completing studies for the priesthood at Saint Patrick’s College, Carlow, he was ordained in Saint Macartan’s Cathedral in 1976.
Since then Bishop Duffy has served in a number of parishes of the Diocese of Clogher. These include Enniskillen, Castleblayney, Monaghan and Rackwallace, Ederney, Clones and Carrickmacross.
He also spent four years in the Diocese of Kitui in Kenya. While in Africa he led the building of a new church in Mwingi. While there, Bishop Duffy supported the setting up of schools in the Diocese of Kitui.
Speaking to Bishop Duffy at the ceremony on Sunday, Archbishop Martin said: “To become bishop is your ‘call within a call.’ But do not lose your priestly and pastoral instinct to serve, and to build up hearts. This is one of your gifts and you can bring it to your episcopacy.
“My brother Larry, this ‘call within a call’ will bring you many new responsibilities and challenges. As bishop, you may sometimes feel yourself sinking beneath so many competing demands and expectations. Ach ná bíodh eagla ortsa.
“Thank you for having the courage to say again; “Here I am, Lord.” God bless your ministry as Bishop of Clogher. Amen.”
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