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27 Nov 2021

Tipperary native Martin Hayes is consecrated as new Bishop of Kilmore

Bishop Martin Hayes

Bishop Martin Hayes pictured during the ceremony

Sustained applause reverberated throughout the Cathedral of Saint Patrick & Saint Felim, Cavan on Sunday as Two-Mile-Borris native Bishop Martin Hayes was consecrated Bishop of Kilmore diocese, by the Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin.

An at times emotional Bishop Hayes, was joined by many members of his immediate family, and friends, as he accepted the responsibility placed upon him by Pope Francis to lead the diocese of Kilmore going forward, following the retirement of Bishop Leo O'Reilly.

" Once again, we say, ‘these are strange times’!  We have had to change our plans – I had hoped to have all the cousins, friends, and parishioners of Kilmore here - and now, in caring for everyone’s health, we are reaching out to you online.  In fact, we are connecting with more people as we celebrate our bonds with family, friends, and parishioners at home.  I am delighted to have almost all my immediate family here, thinking of you Michael and Darragh in Holland and Germany – we know you are with us in spirit and online.  It is great to have Stella, Agnes, John, Donal, Kieran, their families and Michael’s family with me today.  Home is where I was shaped and formed in Newhill/Borris, Two-Mile-Borris in Co Tipperary and of course, I remember my parents, Dan and Mary Agnes, my late sister Mary, brother-in-law, Donal, Auntie Dakie/Sister Annunciata in a special way today and all our Faithful Departed.  We remember those who have died due to COVID-19, all the bereaved and all who are sick at this time.  In these difficult times, we find ourselves at ‘home’ - ‘appreciating even more where we have come from’ – home being ‘the domestic Church," Bsihop Martin said when he addressed the ceremony.

"In truth we are all in a time of transition; our old order has not just been disturbed, we have been thrown into chaos, there is no going back to the old order and so we are in disorder.  Yes, we are having conversations, discussions, formulating plans and roadmaps, changing them, rewriting them, floundering, coming up with new plans – we are realising that we are not totally in charge of our own destiny.  The chaos brought about by COVID-19 has affected all our plans, my plans, yet I have been hearing a voice saying, ‘it will all work out’! 

"There have been times that I asked, does that voice know what it is saying?  Indeed, as I reflect upon how my life has changed in the past few months, I have asked myself do I know what is ahead?  The answer is ‘No’!  Is it going to work out for me, for us?  Yes.  It is a process.  Where are we going?  I am not sure.  We are at a crossroads, a crossroads – we have been called to reflect upon life, our priorities and we have had to make decisions.  We are awaiting and entering a time of reorder in our world, as the people of planet Earth - our Common Home, as referred to by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ and celebrated during September, the Church`s annual `Month of Creation`.  We go forward into the unknown, into this disorder or liminal space trusting in the Cross of Jesus Christ, the same Jesus Christ who has been with us from the beginning and who came among us to be with us, as one of us, in response to God’s love for all of us."

Bishop Martin was invested with his ring, mitre and crozier, was annoited with oil, and seated in his Cathedra - or the bishops chair - which represents the bishop’s authority to teach as a successor of the Apostles. He was also presented with the Book of the Gospels, and introduced his new Episcopal Crest and Motto following a custom dating from the mid-twelfth century.

Bishop Martin was joined in Cavan for the episcopal consecration by His Excellency Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, and many of his now new colleagues in the College of Bishops, as well as Rev Fr James Purcell, PP, Thurles Cathedral.

It was a joyous celebration with the Cavan Cathedral choir raising their voices to the Heavens to welcome their new bishop.

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