A Uachtarán na hEireann and Mrs Higgins you are very welcome to St Mel’s Cathedral on this historic day for Longford and for the diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois.
Your Eminence, brother bishops, Monsignor Amaury Medina Blanco of the Apostolic Nunciature, representatives from all the parishes of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, religious, public representatives, Bishop Glenfield and members of other Christian communities, distinguished guests, artists, craftspeople and all associated with this wonderful restoration and those who are watching via webcam, welcome.
I welcome Bishop Richard Higgins, a native of Longford and bishop with the Archdiocese for the Military Services who has travelled from the USA to be with us.
A word to someone special, not a word of welcome because you cannot welcome him to a place and an event that he so much part of and so closely associated with, so a word of acknowledgement, a word of appreciation and a word of deep gratitude to Bishop Colm.
Another special word to a group of people for whom Saint Mel’s Cathedral holds many valuable and deep associations, the priests of this diocese, many of whom were ordained in this very building.
We gather to re-dedicate this beautifully restored Cathedral of Saint Mel. We ask God to mark it as a special place, a sacred place for people to worship, to pray and to experience the peace and love of God.
We give thanks for all the work of restoration. We thank God for the imagination, the talents and the skilled work of those involved at all stages of this project.
We give thanks for the generations of Longfordians and people from the parishes throughout the diocese whose families and communities marked significant moments in this Cathedral. All those whose commitment to this parish and Cathedral make it the welcoming and worshipping place it is. We give thanks for their support and encouragement over the last five years.
We ask the Lord’s pardon and peace.
- Bishop Francis Duffyis Bishop of the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444