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In what was a red letter day for the Diocese of Cloyne on Sunday, Canon William Crean was ordained its 67th bishop.
Archbishop Charles John Brown, Papal Nuncio to Ireland, was the principal ordaining bishop in the sacred ceremony which took place in St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh. He was assisted by the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, the Most Reverend Dermot Clifford DD and the Bishop of Kerry, Most Reverend William Murphy DD.
His Eminence Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, presided at the Mass. Concelebrants included the Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary and many other members of the Hierarchy. Some 90 priests from the Diocese of Cloyne and a large number of priests from the new bishop’s native Diocese of Kerry were in attendance. Classmates of Bishop Crean, including Bishop Noel Treanor, bishop of Down and Connor also concelebrated the Mass.
His seven brothers and sisters were joined by other members of Bishop Crean’s family to witness his ordination.
The official document from Pope Benedict XVI appointing Bishop Crean was read by Monsignor Eamonn Goold PP VF, Midleton. The first reading was read by Colm Drinan, Carrigtwohill and the second reading was read by Maire Uí Laoire, Cill na Marta. The psalmist was Eileen Plummer, a member of Cobh Cathedral Choir. The Gospel was proclaimed by Fermoy-based curate, Fr Damien Lynch, who was ordained to the priesthood last June.
Offertory gifts were brought to the altar by chiildren from the five Cobh parish schools. Members of Cobh Cathedral Choir and St Colman’s Chamber Choir combined under director of music Dominic Finn. The organist was Adrian Gebruers, who is also the cathedral carilloneur and played the carillon as the procession left the cathedral at the end of the ceremony.
In his address to the congregation the new bishop spoke of the struggle people are experiencing in trying to meet various financial demands in a time of economic hardship and of the desolation it was causing. He asked if it wasn’t time that major financial institutions did more to help people ‘because people have already done more than their fair share’. His comments were greeted with applause.
Representatives of other Christian churches were also present among the almost 1,000 strong congregation to greet the new bishop. They included the Right Reverend Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Church of Ireland, Fermoy-based Reverend William Montgomery of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Reverend Colin Milligan of the Methodist Church and the Reverend Jim Stephens, Parish of Kilcoman in the Church of Ireland diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe.
President Michael D Higgins and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny were represented by their Aides de Camp. Also in attendance were the Mayor of Cobh, Sinead Sheppard, the Cork County Mayor Barbara Murray, David Stanton TD, former TD Michael Ahern representing FF leader Micheal Martin, Sean Kelly MEP, Cobh Junior Mayor Niamh O’Connor and members of Cobh Town Council.
Captain Hugh Tully represented Commodore Mark Mellett, head of the Irish Navy. The attendance also included Garda Superintendent Pat Lehane, John Mulvihill MCC, Sean O’Connor MCC and representatives from every parish in the diocese.
Those attending had an opportunity after the ceremony to give a warm welcome and offer congratulations and good wishes to the new bishop at a reception held in Great Island Community Centre.