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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

Installation of Dean Bruce Hayes in Waterford


The Very Reverend Bruce Hayes


The Very Reverend Bruce Hayes was installed as Dean of Waterford and Rector of Waterford Union of Parishes at a special service in Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford on Wednesday, April 6th 2022 at 7 p.m.

He succeeds the Very Reverend Maria Jansson who retired last August.

The new dean is from Dublin and was Rector of Abbeystrewry Union in Cork (Skibbereen) for nine years before becoming Rector of St. Patrick’s Church, Dalkey.  Married to Samantha, the couple have three teenage sons. Mr Hayes graduated with an Economics and Philosophy degree before training for the priesthood and being ordained in 2002.

The preacher at the service of institution and installation was The Right Reverend Michael Burrows who was officiating at his last service before leaving to become Bishop of Tuam, Limerick and Killaloe on April 14th.

Bishop Burrows welcomed the new Dean and his family to Waterford and wished Mr Hayes well in this new chapter of his life in the city that has been named the ‘best place to live in Ireland’.

“This is a joyful and hopeful occasion as Bruce embarks on his new ministry,” he said.

In his swansong sermon he went on to speak of the six Deans of Waterford that he has known personally and used one word to sum up each of their ministries – liturgist, thinker, restorer, spirituality, person of business and passion (Deans Brian Mayne, John Neill, Ben Neill, Peter Barrett, Trevor Lester and Maria Jansson respectively).  He added that a Dean needs many abilities and he had no doubt but that Dean Bruce Hayes would add his own characteristic strengths to that list in due course.

Mayor of Waterford, Councillor Joe Kelly, welcomed him to the oldest city in Ireland on behalf of the people of Waterford city and county.

Father John Harris, Administrator of the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity welcomed him on behalf of Bishop Cullinan and the wider community of Waterford, praying God’s blessing on his ministry and looking forward to getting to know him and working with him over the coming years.

He was also welcomed by Mr Lucas Vandi who represented the Reverend Sahr Yambasu of St Patrick’s Methodist Church in Waterford.

Completing the greetings, the Dean’s churchwarden, Martin Hourigan, welcomed him to the Union of Parishes that includes Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, St Andrew’s Church, Dunmore East (Killea), Christ Church, Tramore (Drumcannon) and St John the Baptist Church, Annestown (Dunhill)

“We hope you will be very happy here… We welcome you into our hearts,” he said.

In reply Dean Bruce thanked everyone for the warm civic and ecumenical welcome he had received at ‘this most special service’.

He also thanked those who had organised it and those who prepared the Deanery for his arrival and mentioned, in particular, The Reverend Christine Smyth O’Dowd, curate, who looked after the parishes and cathedral during the vacancy.

“I look forward to getting to know you all…and I will do my best to ensure that your trust in not misplaced,” he added.

The Director of Music and organist at the service was Simon Harden and the service was sung by members of the Christ Church Cathedral Choir.

Music included the hymns God is here! As we his people, Be thou my vision and choral pieces O Lord, increase my faith (Introit – Loosemore), O God, thou art my God (Henry Purcell) and John Milton’s metrical version of psalm 84.

Refreshments were served by parishioners after the service.