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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

Appointment to Fiddown Union in the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

The Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, the Right Reverend Adrian Wilkinson is delighted to announce that he has appointed the Reverend Dr Christine O’Dowd-Smyth as part time stipendiary Priest-in-Charge of Fiddown Union. Fiddown Union is situated in west Waterford along the scenic Suir Valley and has four attractive rural churches.

Christine has been curate-assistant of Waterford Union since July 2021, transferring from non-stipendiary ministry to full time ministry, having taken early retirement from her previous post as lecturer in French in the South East Technological University (SETU). Originally from Westport Co Mayo, Christine taught in France before moving to Waterford in 1992. She was ordained deacon in 2009 and priest the following year. Her late husband David was a diocesan reader, and she has one daughter, Lily Mei, who graduated last year from SETU and who lives and works in Dublin. Christine has acted as the Church of Ireland chaplain in University Hospital Waterford and received her CAB chaplaincy accreditation in 2020. Her curacy in Waterford was under the able guidance of Dean Bruce Hayes and the retired Dean Maria Jansson. In recent months, Christine has been acting as caretaker priest-in-charge of Fiddown Union and has taken the parishioners there to her heart. Christine will also shortly take up a part time role in palliative pastoral care in Waterford Hospital. She is a member of Diocesan Council, Standing Committee and the Church’s Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue, General Synod, and the Church of Ireland Representative on the International Reuilly Agreement Committee.

Bishop Wilkinson says

‘I am delighted that Christine will be able to combine her ministry in Fiddown Union with her new position in palliative pastoral care at University Hospital Waterford. Christine’s ministry has been hugely valued in the Diocese in general and most especially in Waterford Union where she worked closely with the parishioners during the vacancy before the arrival of Dean Hayes. It is great that she will continue in ministry alongside us here in Cashel, Ferns and Ossory.’

Christine says

‘I would like to thank the Bishop and parishioners of Fiddown Union most gratefully for their trust in me, and for offering this opportunity to fulfil God’s calling on my life and ministry at this time.

I wish to thank the Dean of Waterford, the Very Revd Bruce Hayes, for his wonderful guidance, support and training of me during my curacy in Waterford Union; and to the retired Dean Maria Jansson for all her support and encouragement. I would not be where and who I am today without the love and support of my family, friends, and priestly colleagues in the Diocese and the wider Christian community. Above all, I am grateful to our loving God, who calls each one of us to a life of joyful service to others.’