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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

Mothers’ Union Festival Service of Thanksgiving and Commissioning with Holy Communion


On Friday the 24th February 2023, Bishop Adrian Wilkinson and the Dean of Ossory, the Very Reverend Stephen Farrell welcomed members and friends of the Mothers’ Union to St. Canice’s Cathedral, for a Mothers’ Union Festival Service of Thanksgiving and Commissioning with Holy Communion.

The cathedral outside, was lit in the colours of the Ukrainian flag, on the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, as people filled the cathedral from all parts of the diocese to celebrate and give thanks together.

The Service began with a welcome from the Mothers’ Union Diocesan President Lesley Bayley. During the singing of the hymn ‘Brother, Sister, let me serve you’ members of the Mothers’ Union walked in procession up the aisle carrying banners representing each of their local branches.

(See Diocesan YouTube Channel & Facebook page for video and pictures)

The following people were commissioned by The Bishop:

  • Vice President for Finance and Central Services – Revd. Patricia Coleman
  • Diocesan Secretary and Unit Coordinator for Finance and Central Services – Cecily Jones
  • Honorary Treasurer – Kathy Walsh
  • Vice President for Fundraising and Communications – Margaret Jacob
  • Unit Coordinator for Fundraising and Communications – William BayleyVice President for
  • Action and Outreach – Kathleen Rothwell
  • MU Enterprise Representative – Naomi Besanson
  • Unit Coordinator for Faith and Policy – Revd. Trevor Sargent
  • Diocesan Chaplain – Revd. Ger James
  • Indoor Members Representative – Vivien Black

The Mothers’ Union theme for 2023 was “Transformation – Now!” and the Gospel reading at the service was (John 15:9-17).  In his sermon on the commandment of Jesus to “Love one another, just as I have loved you” the Bishop said ‘that’s what the Mothers’ Union is about, pointing to the love in God in Christ Jesus through practical action and mutual support.’

He went on to say, ‘We are in the season of Lent and in our world, there are places of pain and turmoil. On this, the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, we pray for peace and justice, while at the same time caring for refugees. As the people of southern Turkey and northern Syria try to come to terms with the trauma of the earthquake there, we offer practical help and support through our sacrificial giving to organisations working on the ground to bring relief.

At the end of this Communion Service and Commissioning of Mothers’ Union members for specific roles, we pray that all of us will go from here with renewed faithfulness, joy and perseverance.’

Mrs June Butler, the All-Ireland Mothers’ Union President attended the service and spoke to members at a meeting earlier in the day. After the service, many of the congregation gathered for refreshments and fellowship before heading home.