Memorable and uplifting service in St Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore
Sunday, January 15th 2023
Bishop Adrian Wilkinson enthroned as Bishop of Lismore
Sunday, January 15th was a day of celebration at the Cathedral Church of Saint Carthage in Lismore, County Waterford as Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory, The Right Reverend Adrian Wilkinson, was enthroned there.
This enthronement ceremony of the new Bishop formally began his ministry in the diocese of Lismore. The service was organised and conducted by the Dean of Lismore, The Very Reverend Paul Draper, in the presence of County Waterford civic and religious dignitaries.
As per tradition Bishop Wilkinson knocked three times on the west cathedral door before being admitted and welcomed by Dean Draper. He was then introduced to clergy, ecumenical colleagues and congregation before being installed in his seat.
(The word ‘cathedral’ comes from the Latin word ‘cathedra’ which means the seat where a bishop sits to teach the faith to the people of the diocese.)
There was an extra special dimension to this enthronement as a replica of the 12th century Lismore crosier, one of the best-preserved Irish crosiers in existence and one that is believed to contain a part of St Carthage’s own staff, was on display on the altar.
It can normally be seen in Lismore Heritage Centre but was transferred to the cathedral for the day under the watchful care of two senior conservator staff members from the National Museum of Ireland.
Religious dignitaries who greeted the Bishop in St Carthage’s included Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, The Most Reverend Alphonsus Cullinan, Sister Marie of the Cistercian Order in Glencairn, Fr Michael Cullinan, PP Lismore, Fr Patrick Condon, PP, Knockanore, Emeritus Abbott Dom Eamon Fitzgerald and Fr Donal Davis, Bursar, from Mount Melleray Abbey.
Civic dignitaries present were the Mayor of Waterford Mr John O’Leary, Marc O’Cathasaigh TD and Councillor Declan Doocey.
Bishop Wilkinson preached the sermon and drew attention to the importance of worship, pastoral care and mission in the church, the dangers of fake news and the real value of seeing in order to believe.
“Jesus says to the disciples ‘what are you looking for’ and ‘come and see’…and while we can’t see Jesus today with eyes of faith we can discern His presence among us,” he said.
He left the congregation with a challenge – to visualise two banners outside our churches and think about how we would respond to those who came forward, the first one saying ‘What are you looking for?’ and a follow-up one that says ‘Come and see’.
Lessons were read by The Very Reverend James Mulhall, Dean of Cashel and Diocesan Reader Mr Brian Dungan.
The Acting Registrar was The Very Reverend Stephen Farrell, Dean of Ossory.
The organist was Kathryn Draper, the guitarist was Cindy O’Shea and the soloist Claudia Amuchastegui sang May God be gracious to us and bless us.
Hymns included Songs of thankfulness and praise, Lead me Lord, lead me in thy righteousness, How brightly beams the Morning Star and Be Thou My Vision. The canticles Tell out, my soul and Hail! Gladdening Light were also sung.
After the service Fr Donal from Mount Melleray commented on the wonderful ecumenical aspect of the service and the importance of all clergy working together for a common goal.
Bishop Wilkinson has already been enthroned Bishop of Waterford, Bishop of Leighlin and Bishop of Cashel and over the next few weeks two further enthronement ceremonies will take place in the two remaining dioceses in the United Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory, namely, Ferns and Kilkenny on Sunday, January 29th and February 5th respectively.
Refreshments were served in the cathedral after the service.