Nov 26

Recent Appointments, etc.


Appointments, Introductions and Institutions and Commissionings

Fid 1 copy- MELLISSA JEFFERS to Fiddown, on Friday 28th November at 8 p.m. in Piltown.







- Commissioning of DIOCESAN READERS (Nicola Rowan, Michael O’Meara and Jason Smith) in St Canice’s at 7 p.m. on Advent Sunday, 30th November.

This service will be Eucharistic and will be introduced by an Advent liturgy of the Light.

After the service academic certificates from Maynooth will be presented to new Readers and to others who have completed our accredited theology course. Also after the service the new Bishop’s Medal for a project by a student in third level education will be awarded.


apurser- ALEC PURSER to Stradbally Union on Friday 5th December at 8 p.m. in Stradbally.






ORourke copy- BRIAN O ROURKE to Portlaoise and Ballyfin Union on Friday 9th January at 8 p.m. in Portlaoise.






Mairt Hanley copyThe Reverend MAIRT HANLEY, at present priest in charge in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, has been nominated to the incumbency of Baltinglass. We will welcome him among us at his Institution on Sunday 11th January at 7 p.m. in Baltinglass Parish Church.


sykes- MARGARET SYKES to New Ross and Fethard Union on Friday 16th January at 7.30 p.m. (NOTE TIME) in New Ross.

At this service Margaret’s new role as Diocesan President of the MU, in which we wish her well, will also be recognised.





Nov 26

Diocesan Attendance at the Ploughing Championship 2014


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Moo-meter’ may have been the buzzword around Ratheniska at the record-breaking National Ploughing Championship this year, but tucked away in a quiet but visible corner was positioned the Church of Ireland ‘Welcome’ Stand.  Created, organised and mainly manned by Cashel, Ferns and Ossory since in its Diocese it lay.

Flagged by attractive looking posters, there was an inviting appeal for everyone to stop by, say hello and take momentary respite from the rigours of the crowds and the walking.


Headed up by the Ven. Andrew Orr and Canon Susan Green, each of the three days had a rota of crew, both clerical and lay, to meet and greet the many visitors who called in.

The centre-piece of the marquee was the Prayer Tree, created by the Art Department of Kilkenny College.  It was designed so that visitors could take paper ‘leaves’ on which personal prayers could be written and placed on the outreaching branches.

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Both adults and children were encouraged to participate with further steps available to both groups as a prayer desk was provided in one corner for those who felt inclined to pray and in another there was a children’s corner where they could sit and draw.  The walls here were decorated by prints of the winners of the annual Bishop’s Lenten Art Competition.

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The life of the diocese and beyond was well represented with bright displays from BB, GFS, Bishops’ Appeal and the C of I youth department.

Bishop Michael Burrows was on hand for much of the time, greeting members of his diocese and also those from the wider community.  His Roman Catholic counterpart, Bishop Denis Nulty also paid a visit, calling in from the their stand next door, as did the Papal Nuncio.

PC5 MU 1 IMG_4894 Further ‘down the road’ the annual presence of the Mothers’ Union was providing its usual ‘ baby-changing’ service to weary parents and their offspring who had perhaps visited one stand too many!  This practical service is much appreciated, even it is just a sit down and a maternal chat for five minutes before heading out again into the multitudes.

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The Ven. Andrew Orr also represented the Church of Ireland and the Bishop at the official opening when he took part in the opening ceremony in the presence of An tUachtarain Michael D. Higgins.


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Nov 26

Outing of the Friends of Saint Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny

Annual outing of the Friends of Saint Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny

Pat Nolan

Bright sunlight provided the perfect backdrop to the popular outing of the Friends of Saint Canice on 20th September last.  This time the destination was the town of Kildare and its imposing Saint Bridget’s cathedral. As is now well-established practice, the route taken is very far from the most direct, motorway option. So it was up the hills behind Johnswell and on to Mount Nugent and the high ground straddling the three counties borders of Kilkenny, Laois and Carlow.  There a real find was the delightful hostelry, The Ridge Bar, run by the Rory Sheerin and family where morning coffee and warm scones were enjoyed helped by copious amounts of cream and jam.

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The numerous personalities of Carlow from Pierce Butler one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, William Dargan father of the Irish railway system, Olivia O’Leary and John Tyndall, the scientist and mountain climber were all discussed as the coach wound its way in the capable hands of Ger Ronan along roads more suited to much smaller modes of transport.  We paused at Holy Trinity Church, Bilbo where Averill Matthews told the inspiring story of her mother’s family relocating there during the sad time of the 1918 flu pandemic.

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The churches grounds were given by the Alexander Family which in the person of Mrs Frances Alexander (née Fanny Humphreys (composer of the popular ‘All things bright and beautiful’)  which prompted all in the coach to join in a joyous rendering of the song.

The 9,000 plus year long story of forestry in Ireland was to the fore as we continued along the tree bedecked ridge drive before descending past the 19th century, state-of-the-art water reservoir.

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to view the inspiring Romanesque doorway of the Killeshin Church with its links to Saint Diarmait who died in 565AD. It was he who pronounced the famous legal principal ‘to every cow its calf, to every book its copy’.

Carlow, the Barrow Navigation, Saint Patrick’s confession, Shrule Castle Castledermot, Athy and Gordon Bennett were all touched upon and their stories duly told. Finally Kildare was reached with a concluding puzzle, involving old money occasioned much scratching of heads before the remainder of £66-16 shillings and no pence and three farthings  less £44-5 shillings, 4pence and one farthing was finally agreed.

After a pleasant lunch in the stylish Silken Thomas restaurant was enjoyed we took part in a short service in the imposing Cathedral taken by Richard Codd who joined us from Tullow. This was followed by a tour of the church and the grounds by Ken Dunne of the Select Vestry.

Off again on the return journey with a nod to Count John McCormack in Monasterevin where we were just in time to watch the lifting bridge in action over one of the very few aqueducts which carries the Grand Canal over the River Barrow. Then onwards to Durrow and our final meal in the Durrow Hotel where once again Joseph Murphy did the honours with style.  Another wonderful day of fellowship concluded with the short journey back to Kilkenny.






Oct 10

Diocesan Rules – Amended


DIOC RULES-amended


Oct 05

Tributes paid to Maureen Lanigan



1945 – 2014

It was with deep sadness that the Diocese learned of the death of Maureen Lanigan in the first week of September following illness.

She died at Waterford Regional Hospital Thursday 4th September and her funeral took place on Saturday 6th September, in St Canice’s Cathedral with Requiem Eucharist. Her burial followed at St Peter’s, Kington Langley, Wiltshire, England.

The Diocese expressed its deepest sympathies to her companion Pierce, her brother Andrew, her family and friends.

Maureen, English by birth had worked as a nurse in the WAAFs and married in England to Conor. She then came to Ireland as her husband was Irish and when he retired he wished to return to Kilkenny.  They settled in the house in Joiner’s Folly on the outskirts of Kilkenny and Maureen became part of the parish scene of St Canice’s Cathedral.

When her husband died, the former dean the Very Revd Norman Lynas took the funeral service and subsequently suggested to Maureen that she should consider going for lay reading as she continued to reside in Kilkenny.

She involved herself in a variety of aspects of Kilkenny life, including acting as a doctor’s receptionist, working in the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and was instrumental among others in setting up the Kilkenny Rape Crisis Centre.

And then latterly she found friendship in her special companion: Pierce.

There was no avoiding the presence of Maureen in the early years, as she came to service in the cathedral, smartly attired with wide-brimmed hat and high heels.

She was for some years the Hon. Secretary of the Cathedral Select Vestry and when the parishes became a Union she continued to give of herself and sat on the Advisory Committee.

But it was as lay reader that Maureen came into her own.

Initially taking intercessions and readings in the church, she took it on herself to greet people brightly in the pew on a Sunday morning.

She attended the courses laid on by the Very Revd Tom Gordon and was commissioned as Diocesan Reader on Advent Sunday, 2nd December 2007 by the Bishop in St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.   Many of the parish readers became Diocesan Readers and could then be requested to go further afield from their own parishes to assist with services.   Maureen took on this expanded task and endeared herself to other parts of the Diocese as can been read in the notes and news of many of the parishes in this issue of the Magazine.

But, as can also be seen in this edition, her interest and loyalty to the Mothers’ Union was equally paramount.  First as a member of the Kilkenny Branch, then Branch Leader and then finally as Diocesan President.  And it was only this time last year in May 2013 that she was instituted at the Mothers’ Union Festival Service in Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny.

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Flanked by bishops and MU officers, Maureen in pictured following her institution as Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union.


An occasion when she was most obviously at her happiest.  It is sad to consider that she never really had the opportunity to discharge her duties in that role.  At her funeral service, the Bishop paid tribute to the officers of the Mothers’ Union in that they never let her think that through her absence with illness, she had been replaced.

Maureen may have been of slight build but she had a strong voice and mind.  Her high-registered English accent made her easily heard and she was not averse to speaking her mind.  As the Bishop also recalled, Maureen was a member of General Synod and he remembered with affection and gratitude how she spoke out fiercely with guts and clarity from the rostrum defending her bishop when he was under considerable pressure in the wider church.


Her funeral service was one she devised herself requesting a celebration of the Eucharist and the music of Stanford, Croft (funeral sentences) and Bach with the singing led by the choir under the direction of Malcolm Proud and David Forde.   The service was led by the Vicar, the Revd Tim Irvine, the lesson was read by Maureen’s friend and Reader Carol Hennessy and the Gospel also by fellow Diocesan Reader George Kidd.

Prayers were led by Janet Crampton and the Warden of Readers, the Revd Canon Barbara Fryday.

Maureen was well enough to robe at St Laserian’s Cathedral for the Restoration of the Lady Chapel and continued to work in the Diocese, including joining the Mothers’ Union in their project meeting the families of prisoners at the family centre at the gates of Portlaoise prison.

She had hoped to be present at the MU Festival Service on 7th September but when she realised that she could only be there in spirit, she insisted that it go ahead, which it did, with the congregation very mindful of their late President.

A recent relapse had been too severe for her to combat and as the Vicar said in his address that the final word for Maureen was not her illness, suffering and death, but the new life in Christ which she now shares in all its fullness. That was the hope that Maureen celebrated each week when she carried out her duties as a diocesan lay reader, leading the community in its celebration of the first day of the new creation, the day on which all things were made new through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

And so the Diocese gave its servant and its friend back to God on 4th September 2014.

‘My soul doth magnify the Lord: and my Spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour’.


The Revd Norman Lynas sent this tribute to Maureen from Bermuda on receiving the news of her death. He had been dean of St Canice’s Cathedral and had been instrumental in encouraging Maureen to consider lay reading.


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Maureen Diocesan Reader Sam Harper following their commissioning as Diocesan Readers on Sunday 2nd December 2007 and pictured with with the former Dean of St Canice’s Cathedral the Very Revd Norman Lynas and the former Vicar of Kilkenny the Revd Elaine Murray.


It was with no small measure of sadness that I received the news of Maureen’s death yet aware that for some time she had a clarity and perspective arising from a deep faith that enabled her to face the inevitable with courage and grace.

My first contact with Maureen was in early 1992 when on the daily round visiting her home at Joiner’s Folly. She was an active member of the congregation that attended St Canice’s Cathedral and some time after was elected to serve as a member of the Select Vestry. Diligent, punctual and concise were the qualities I observed and these were utilised to the full when she became the Secretary to the Select Vestry.

Also an active member of the Mothers’ Union she served on the organising committee with a calm and dignity that always sought to see the best in everyone. These qualities were recognised in her appointment as Diocesan President of the MU.

Her training as a Queen Alexandra nurse gave her an insight into the suffering of others and I was often struck by her willingness to visit those facing hardship due to the unrelenting assault of prolonged illness. She was no stranger to grief and hardship having lost her husband whom she met through nursing, in 1994.

Maureen had a conviction that never left her, namely that she had a call to serve in the Church and this call would take the form of training to be a Diocesan Lay Reader. Having fulfilled the training required she was commissioned in 2007 and was clearly delighted with the support she received from the then Kilkenny Group of Parishes now a Union.

On a lighter side Maureen was a quintessential English woman who had difficulty on occasion translating the subversive use of the English language employed by her fellow parishioners. Thus she did not comprehend that the word ‘no” did not mean ‘never’ but had a variety of renderings depending on the intonation of the person addressing her.

Maureen will be missed by her own, as well as the parish and diocesan family for her integrity and humility, and I will remember her with fondness and with thanksgiving as one who made a difference.

Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon her. May the souls of the faithful by the mercy of God rest in peace.


Respectfully submitted,

Norman Lynas.


Oct 03

The Mothers’ Union Festival Service 2014


The Mothers’ Union Festival Service

Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

‘Sowing the Future together’

St Michael and All Angels’ Church Abbeyleix

Sunday 7th September 2014

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The sun shone as if it were the height of summer, all of which brought out the brightly coloured dresses of the ladies of the Mothers’ Union as they filled the large church in Abbeyleix.  Not to forget the sprinkling of gentlemen among the congregation!

The Service was taking place at a different time of year and in a slightly different format, it was conducted by the Bishop assisted by the rector the Revd Canon Patrick Harvey.

The Preacher was the Mothers’ Union All-Ireland President Mrs Phyllis Grothier and the singing was led by the organist Mrs Phyllis Clegg.

Through the opening hymn of ‘All things bright and beautiful’ the procession of banners made its way up the aisle to the Chancel after which the service was introduced by the Bishop and the Rector.

Bishop Michael spoke of this being the occasion following the funeral of Maureen Lanigan that had taken place the day before in Kilkenny and to which many of the same members of the Mothers’ Union now in front of him for this service, had been in St Canice’s Cathedral the day before.

He recalled that the last time everyone had gathered similarly was in the Spring of last year in Inistioge when Maureen had been commissioned as Mothers’ Union Diocesan President.  He paid tribute to those who had kept the Mothers’ Union in the Diocese functioning and thriving and at the same time ensuring that Maureen felt that she was still in office.

When the Bishop talked to her only a few days ago, Maureen talked emphatically in the future tense and that this service would happen this weekend come what may.

And so, said the Bishop, we continue to hold Maureen in love before God as we chart the way forward and before the service commenced, what was properly a joyful occasion, he asked the congregation to keep silence and cherish particular memories.

The Bishop reminded the congregation that this was the eve of one of the days of Mary in the calendar and with the Mothers’ Union so concerned for the motherhood of Mary and all motherhood by derivation, this then is the observance of the eve of the feast of the birth of Mary.  He elaborated a little more coming to the conclusion that the liturgical calendar is much neater than life and that liturgy is all about trying to encapsulate something that is neat and beautiful.

At this point the rector, the Revd Canon Patrick Harvey formally welcomed everyone and said what a privilege it was to be hosting this year’s Diocesan Mothers’ Union Festival service here in St Michael and All Angels’ Church in Abbeyleix and invited everyone to partake of refreshments in the South National School just ‘over the hedge’ nearby!

Service of the Word

The lessons were read by Ms Aubrey Hastings and the Revd Margaret Sykes and the Gospel was read by Mrs Pat Costain, the Mothers’ Union President, Isle of Man.

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Address – Click on next line to open full account of Phyllis Grothier address

Festival Service Abbeyleix address


There then followed the commissioning of the Public Relations’ Officer, Ms Vivien Black.

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The Intercessions were led by the Unit-Coordinators Ms Phyllis Foot (Action and Outreach), Ms Frances Bradley (Finance and Central Services), Ms Lilia Harper (Marketing), Ms Vivien Black (P.R.O.), and the Revd Margaret Sykes (Faith and Policy).


Through the preliminaries of the celebration of the Passover-style family Eucharist there was prayer which included dialogue between the Rector and Ms Alice Twist.

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At the conclusion of the service, Vice-President Janet Crampton spoke and offered acknowledgements to all those who had been in the preparation of the service and the hospitality.

She thanked the rector for being so welcoming and also the local branch of the MU for all their preparation. She thanked the Bishop for his support over the past few days and Phyllis Grothier for her thought-provoking and inspirational address. She thanked the visitors who had come from the Isle of Man and also for the members of the clergy who had given up their Sunday afternoon to be present.  She thanked everyone for coming and that it was a good sign of the numbers that the ‘order of service’ sheets had run out.  She thanked the organist for standing in at the last moment.

She also thanked the Kilkenny Branch for all the work and preparation that was involved for the funeral of Maureen the previous day.

To conclude the banners were paraded out of the church and into the evening sunlight and all made their way to the adjacent national school for refreshments and fellowship.

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Sep 22

Bikers on a Mission!


On Friday 1st August the Revds Andrew McCroskery and the Revd Nigel Kirkpatrick ‘revved’ up their trusty powerful motorbikes and set off on a marathon 3,000km trip around Ireland.

Not just a random tour as their itinerary took them to every Church of Ireland cathedral on the island, all in a period of 10 days.

In each place they prayed with those who came along to support, for each particular cathedral, its clergy, its people and the diocese it serves, as well as praying for Swaziland and the United Society (US).

The inspiration came when they were discussing how they and their motorbikes could mark the 300th anniversary of the Unisted Society in Ireland.  The plan was to raise awareness and raise funds – and at the same time have some fun.

Linda Chambers and Jan de Bruijn followed the bikes in true ‘tour de France’ style in the support vehicle, a campervan, that quickly became dubbed as the ‘Us bus’!  It carried wet gear, spare gloves, boots and helmets as well as clerical vestments and clothes, etc.


It turned out to be a wonderful experience, in mostly good sunshine but not without suffering the occasional deluge!

The company was good and the welcome and hospitality shown was amazing. All concerned express their heartfelt thanks to those who helped in any way: donating, welcoming, feeding, accommodating – all four on the tour appreciated it all.

The cavalcade descended in Cashel, Ferns and Ossory on Thursday 7th August to Waterford, completing our six cathedrals in three days, finishing up in Ferns on the Saturday before heading to Dublin and finally back to Belfast to complete the circle.

Food for thought for our Bishop for his next escapade?!




Part of the little service included a special prayer for those who travel on our road – so relevant in these days:

God of the journey, we bring you our thanks and praise that you are always our faithful traveller and companion on the way.  Shelter and protect us from all harm, grant us strength and courage for the journey and a peace and joy in our hearts that we can share with all whom we meet.

Grant your rest to the weary, peace to the troubled in mid and comfort to the distressed. As we journey our separate ways this day, may we know that you journey with us in all things until we come to our eternal home in you, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Sep 22

Celebrating the restoration of the Lady Chapel in St Laserian’s Cathedral, Leighlin

St Laserian’s Cathedral, Leighlin – ‘A liturgical laboratory in a large room’

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The Service

On a balmy evening of Trinity Sunday 15th June, the multitudes gathered to St Laserian’s Cathedral in Leighlin for the Service of Thanksgiving to mark the restoration of the Lady Chapel and the Installation of the Venerable Andrew Orr as Archdeacon of Leighlin.

The Service was led by the Dean, the Very Revd Tom Gordon in the presence of the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory, the Rt Revd Michael Burrows.

The singing was led by the Choir of Saint Nicholas Collegiate directed by Mark Duley with organist Ronan De Burcha.

The Preacher was the Reverend Professor Liam Tracey OSM from Maynooth.

The cathedral was at capacity and included parishioners, friends, and those from the wider ecumenical community and also the newly elected Mayor of Carlow, Cllr John Pender.

Following the gathering of God’s People in the cathedral the evening candles were lit during the singing of the canticle ‘Phos Hilaron’ by Stainer.  The Choir and ministers processed to the hymn ‘All people that on earth do dwell’.

Installation of the Archdeacon

There followed the installation of the new Archdeacon with the Registrar the Revd Tim Irvine reading the Mandate and the Dean leading the Ven. Andrew Orr to his stall in the chancel.

The Ministry of the Word was led by Mr George Kidd of the Cathedral Development Committee and Ms Ellen Atkinson a parishioner of the Cathedral and the Gospel was read by the newly installed Archdeacon.


In his address the Revd Professor Liam Tracey talked of the function of a cathedral both in times gone by and also today.

Dedication of the Lady Chapel

The dedication and Act of Thanksgiving for the restoration of the Lady Chapel took place.  The churchwardens, Mark Wenman and Andrew Marshall, petitioned the Bishop to carry out the task to which the Bishop acceded ‘right gladly’. The Choir sang Charles Wood’s ‘Magnificat’.

The Intercessions were led by young parishioners recently confirmed: Brian Atkinson, Melanie Griffith and Agnes Wenman.

Cutting the tape

At the conclusion of the service a tape was ceremoniously cut by Mrs Elizabeth Tomkins to open the newly refurbished Lady Chapel. She was assisted by Ellen Atkinson and Adam Watchorn, grandchildren of John Atkinson and Sam Rigley, both prominent cathedral parishioners who had died recently and who would have been delighted to see the restoration work complete and to have been present at the thanksgiving liturgy. Both had been hugely involved in earlier years in the maintenance of the cathedral and in fund-raising

Mrs Tomkins was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Ms Roisin Wenman.

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St Laserian’s

A monastic church was founded on the site by St Gobhan in the 7th Century.  His successor, Saint Laserian, was instrumental in establishing the Rome observance of the date of Easter for the Irish Church. The cathedral dates from the 12th Century with the later addition of the 16th Lady Chapel, transepts and tower.

New facilities

Now with the Lady Chapel restored with modern facilities it can boast the provision of hospitality amenities, disabled access and new sound and lighting systems which will expand the use of the cathedral for the purposes of tourism, education and cultural events, in addition to its ongoing presence as a place of worship and prayer.



There has been generous support of those individuals and organisations which has enabled the project to reach its present stage of completion.  In particular the County Carlow Development Partnership (Leader Programme) has been the principal source of funding.

Funding over the years has been Carlow County Council, the Heritage Council, the Vigor’s Bequest, Priorities’ Fund, the Marshall Beresford Fund, the Representative Church Body, the Department of Heritage and the Environment, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the Kathleen Day Fund.


Acknowledgments by the Dean

In his words afterwards the Dean thanked everyone who had been involved in the extensive work; he paid tribute and made presentations in particular to Ms Margaret Quinlin (Conservations Architect) and her extensive expertise in this sphere, to Connor Morarity (Project Manager) for all his guidance and for ensuring the work was completed and to Pat Tallis (Specialist Conservation Builder), for his detailed work with enormous degree of sensitivity.

The Dean also spoke of the link with St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and thanked to Fr Liam professor of liturgics for attending and for preaching.  The Dean also acknowledged with appreciation the great music provided by the choir and led by Mr Mark Duley.

The Dean went on to acknowledge the small community that is the parishioners and the Development Committee and their unstinting commitment to create and sustain what is now here in Leighlin.

This particular project would not have been possible without the various funding that they were able to tap into, while appreciating all who supported, the substantial part came from the Carlow Leader Programme and Claire O’Shea and how instrumental she was in opening the necessary doors for it all to happen.

The Dean offered his best wishes to the Ven. Andrew Orr in his new role as Archdeacon.

The Bishop concludes

Finally the Bishop recalled his very first visit many years ago as a small child to Leighlin for the Choral Festival when his uncle Andy Willis was rector in Urglin and during Dean Bolton’s time.

The Bishop said that even for him then there is something about the holiness, the atmosphere and the mystery and the possibility that captured him that day.  He never thought he would back, let alone sitting in the ‘big chair’ listening to what is said about those who are meant to sit in it, but it has been marvelous to see over the years and especially in recent years with the work of everyone, how such a vision has been realised.  And also how much this is all due to the skill, the wisdom and the vision of the Dean.

St Laserian’s is a place of pause and gave thanks for the fruits by which ministry is known and to remember ‘God has set our feet in a very large room’ as the Psalmist said.

Leighlin cathedral is truly a large room, a liturgical laboratory, a place of imagination and creativity and ad multos annos.

Refreshments were served in the refurbished Lady Chapel.




Sep 22

The AGM of the Friends of St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, 2014

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, 2014


The fellowship of the Friends

The 100th anniversary of the day that the Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated and which pre-empted the First World War, coincided with the annual Choral Evensong and 63rd AGM of the Friends of St Canice’s Cathedral that took place in Kilkenny on Saturday 28th June 2014, the eve for the Vigil of Saint Peter’s Day.

The afternoon began with Evensong led by the Dean and Blessing given by the Bishop.  The Choir was led by Mr David Forde and organist Mr Malcolm Proud and the lessons were read by Mr Pat Nolan and Ms Maureen Lanigan.

The Choir sang the ‘Preces’ by Morley and ‘Magnificat’ and ‘Nunc Dimittis’ by Stanford with the Anthem by Charles Wood.

The versicles, lesser litany, etc., were intoned by the Bishop and the occasional prayers were led by the Vicar the Revd Tim Irvine and the last two hymns were sung ‘acapella’: ‘Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom…’ and ‘Before the ending of the day’ both of which as the Bishop remarked that the words of these were not to infer that the day was over, as there was to be a fine afternoon ahead but later ‘taking us to safe lodging’ in the words of John Henry Newman.

The Dean thanked the Choir for its year’s singing and added that after 58 years in the choir Mr Des Wallace was this day retiring.  The Choir made a presentation to him after the service.

The meeting following was chaired by the Bishop who remarked that it was good to see the Hon. Sec. returned to action after recent illness and looking so well.

Following the Report of the Hon. Secretary, there was reference to the committee’s year’s work with projects: purchase of a burse and veil and new carpet runners for the cathedral seats. Also, yet to be realised, a system for discounting cathedral entry attracting local firms and individuals to become more involved. An audio system for the cathedral is also under consideration.

The accounts were presented having been audited by the Honorary Auditor followed by the election of officers.  The Bishop (President) and the Dean (Chairperson) are ex-officio. The Hon. Sec./Treas. was re-elected. The Committee had been elected for three years so it continues.

This year’s outing will take place on Saturday 20th September to the Kildare region and cathedral.

In her Report the Dean spoke of the cathedral developments over the last year including the provision of a Laudian Frontal and the new seat runners. Other matters concerning the cathedral is signage for visitors including an explanatory plinth at the Round Tower part-funded by Fáilte Ireland.  Notice boards will detail service and opening times. Inside, further information will be supplied for tourists and audio-visual items at certain points – the ‘through-the-key-hole’ effect – able to see and hear.  It is envisaged that refurbishment of all exterior doors and work on stonework on the West side to be carried out in due course.  The question of car parking in the ‘Orchard’ to be revisited and a trial of a one way system round the Close to be in place from 1st July.

The Patronal Weekend is 17th – 19th October 2014 with a concert on the Friday evening and on Saturday the new third level bishop’s medal will be presented.



Whatever you do, don’t put your finger in there!

The Bishop thanked the Dean for her imaginative ministry during the year.  He wished Mr Crocket Co. Manager well in his retirement and Mr Des Wallace retiring from the choir after 58 years. He offered best wishes to the Revd Canon Peter Cole-Baker on his forthcoming retirement and hoped that he would retain an active association with the cathedral, all despite the burden of his illness.

He encouraged everyone to avail of the illustrated history of the Church of Ireland recently published and on sale in the cathedral.

The afternoon concluded with Mr Malcolm Proud giving a short recital on the harpsichord playing pieces by Jean-Philippe Rameau, the 250th anniversary of whose death occurs this year.

The assembled company then adjourned to the deanery for refreshments.


Sep 22

The Work of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise praised by President Higgins

Saothar Chumann Gaelach na hEaglaise molta ag Uachtarán na hÉireann.

Bhí baill agus cairde Chumann Gaelach na hEaglaise in Áras an Uachtaráin, 24 Meitheamh 2014, ag fáiltiú speisialta leis an Uachtarán, Micheál D Ó hUiginn, chun saothar an Chumainn a chomóradh.

Tá Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise ag comóradh an chéid i mbliana agus ba mhór an phribhléid do bhaill agus cairde an Chumainn cuairt a thabhairt ar an Uachtarán.  Bhí an tUachtarán flaithiúil ina mholtaí maidir leis an gCumann. Dúirt sé;

‘We should never underestimate the enormous contribution that Dughlás de hÍde and others of his faith made to Irish language and literature’.  

Rinne an tUachtarán tagairt don éacht atá déanta thar na blianta chun na Gaeilge a fhorbairt agus gan dearmad a dhéanamh ar cé chomh lag is a bhí an teanga ag deireadh na 19ú aois déag nuair nach raibh ach 12 faoi gcéad de pháistí faoi deich mbliana d’aois in ann Gaeilge a labhairt, ach go háirithe nuair a bhí ceithre mhilliún duine in ann é a labhairt tamaillín roimhe seo.  Mhol an tUachtarán an Cumann,

‘Organisations like Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise play a significant role in ensuring a rich context of empathy and understanding as we view the events and stories which create the many chapters of our national narrative’                                                                   

Dúirt an tEaspag Michael Burrows, Deoise Chaisil, Fearna agus Osraí agus Éarlamh Chumann Gaelach na hEaglaise go raibh an Cumann fíorbhuíoch as an gcuireadh agus gur chuir flaithiúlacht an Uachtaráin áthas agus gliondar ar a chroí.  Luaigh sé gur bunaíodh an Cumann chun saibhreas na Gaeilge a cheiliúradh in Eaglais na hÉireann agus go raibh traidisiún bródúil fada ag an Eaglais, ach go háirithe an éacht a rinne Dúghlas de hÍde, An Craoibhín Aoibhinn.

‘In ár bpaidreacha coitianta bímid ag lorg áilleachta naofa, mar atá ráite sa Saltair, agus tugann an Ghaeilge cabhair speisialta dúinn é de bhrí an fhuinnimh, na fuaimeanna agus na mistéire atá inti’. 

Thagair sé don dul chun cinn atá déanta ag an gCumann, ach go háirithe i dTuaisceart Éireann, agus freisin don ról ag an Uachtarán, mar fhile agus ‘ambassador’ iontach don Ghaeilge.

Luaigh sé focail Yeats:

‘where all the ladders start” and the ladders that beam angels towards heaven are rested on foundations laid by saints who spoke, prayed, loved and taught through Irish’.


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President Michael D. Higgins entertains the members of the Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise on 24th June last.



The Work of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise praised by President Higgins

Members and friends of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise were hosted by President Michael D. Higgins at a reception in Áras an Uachtaráin (24th June) to mark the organisation’s centenary.

The Irish Guild of the Church of Ireland has been promoting the Irish language in the Church since 1914 and the Guild was delighted to receive high praise from the President for their efforts in keeping the language alive.

President Higgins said that the Cumann’s centenary was a milestone and an impressive tribute to their efforts in the promotion of the Irish language in the Church of Ireland.

He also referred to Ireland’s first President, Douglas Hyde. ‘We should never underestimate the enormous contribution that Dúghlas de hÍde and others of his faith made to the Irish language and literature,’ he said.

He went on to say that at the end of the 19th Century the language was very weak and was spoken by less than 12% of children under 10, having only a few short years earlier been spoken by four million people. But he said there were people who saw the value of the language.

He praised the Cumann saying, ‘Organisations like Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise play a significant role in ensuring a rich context of empathy and understanding as we view the events and stories which create the many chapters of our national narrative.’

Bishop Michael Burrows, Patron of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise said that Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise was very privileged and honoured to be received by President D. Higgins on this special occasion and thanked the President for his generosity.

Bishop Burrows said that the Cumann was founded to celebrate the richness of the language in the Church of Ireland and that there was a proud and long association of support by members of the Church, not least the major contribution made the first President of Ireland, Dúghlas de hÍde, An Craoibhín Aoibhinn [his pen name].

‘We seek out harmony and beauty in our prayers, as instructed in the Psaltar, and our native language helps us in a special way because of the energy, mystery and sounds that permeate the language’. 

He also referred to the great progress that has been made in promoting the work of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise in recent times, not least in Northern Ireland.  He complimented President Higgins in his role as ambassador for the language and as a poet, ending with the words of Yeats:

‘where all the ladders start’ and the ladders that beam angels towards heaven are rested on foundations laid by saints who spoke, prayed, loved and taught through Irish’.


Report courtesy the Church of Ireland Gazette and photography by Lynn Glanville.


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