Words of welcome from Bishop Liam MacDaid at Lough Derg

13 Jun 2012

Bishop MacDaid welcomes Papal Legate Cardinal Marc Ouellet, and Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown, to Lough Derg

Your Eminence, Cardinal Ouellet, it is indeed a great honour for Bishop Duffy and myself to warmly welcome you to Saint Patrick’s Purgatory on Station Island in Lough Derg.  On behalf of the faithful people of the Diocese of Clogher, we would wish you to convey to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, our appreciation of the great honour he has bestowed on us by asking you to visit this historic island in your role as Papal Legate to the Fiftieth International Eucharistic Congress.

Your Excellency, Archbishop Brown, this is the first opportunity the people of the Diocese of Clogher have had to welcome you to Ireland as the representative of His Holiness and we are greatly encouraged that you have been able to accompany Cardinal Ouellet on his visit to this ancient site of prayer and penance.

All of us here present in St Patrick’s Basilica, distinguished members of the clergy, the Prior and Staff on the island, victims of child abuse and those on pilgrimage, we are aware that your visit here is a pastoral one.  We know, Cardinal Ouellet, that you have come in the name of the Shepherd showing his love for the wounded sheep.  We share the shame of these wounds.  We share the admiration and appreciation of all good people who acknowledge the courage of those victims who have come forward and spoken.

Your Eminence and Your Excellency we join our hearts with yours in reaching out to all victims of abuse.  We will cooperate with you and with His Holiness in every way we can to prevent this happening again.  As we join you in acknowledging our own weakness and in listening to God’s nourishing word; as we share with you the wounded self-gift of our Saviour in the Eucharist, we are confident that God’s grace, so eloquently witnessed in your visit, can bring healing to us all.

+Liam S MacDaid
Bishop of Clogher

Notes for Editors

  • This address was delivered yesterday, 12 June 2012, by Bishop Liam MacDaid, Bishop of Clogher, to welcome Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and Papal Legate to the International Eucharistic Congress; and the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown, to Saint Patrick’s Basilica on Station Island on Lough Derg, Co Donegal, in the Diocese of Clogher.  The welcome address took place before the start of Mass at which Cardinal Ouellet was the main celebrant and the concelebrants included Archbishop Brown; Bishop MacDaid; and Bishop Joseph Duffy, Bishop Emeritus of Clogher.   As part of his pilgrimage to Lough Derg, the Papal Legate celebrated Mass with approximately one hundred Irish and international pilgrims, some of whom had travelled to the island as part of their attendance at the Eucharistic Congress.  Prior to the Mass Cardinal Ouellet, and his delegation, met with a group of survivors of child abuse in the Church which included representatives of institutional and clerical abuse, men and women, from different parts of the island of Ireland, North and South.  The meeting lasted two hours during which each survivor spoke of his or her own personal experience of abuse and its impact on their lives.
  • Bishop Liam MacDaid is the Bishop of Clogher.  The Diocese of Clogher is a cross-border diocese which includes County Monaghan, most of County Fermanagh and portions of Counties Tyrone, Donegal, Louth and Cavan.  Monsignor Richard Mohan is the Prior of Lough Derg.  Station Island on Lough Derg is located in the Diocese of Clogher and has been a place of pilgrimage for 1,500 years.  In 2011 over 16,600 national and international pilgrims travelled to Lough Derg to pray, undertake penance, and to reflect on the relationship with God in their lives.
  • Photographs are available for use by media by contacting John McElroy +353 (0) 87 241 6985.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678