Saturday, 21 October 2017

The new dean takes
his place in Limerick

The New Dean of Limerick, Very Revd Niall Sloane, with the chapter and visiting bishops in Saint Mary’s Cathedral this afternoon (Photograph: Joc Sanders, 2017; click on image for full-screen view)

Patrick Comerford

Storm Brian passed through this part of Ireland today, and many parts of Limerick were flooded, with falling trees and roads closed. But the weather did nothing to stop enthusiasm in the city and the diocese for welcoming a new dean and a new rector.

The new Dean of Limerick and Ardfert, the Very Revd Niall Sloane, was installed in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, this afternoon [21 October 2017], and was instituted as Rector of the Limerick City Parish.

He was instituted by Bishop Kenneth Kearon of Limerick and Killaloe and installed by the senior chapter member, Dean Gary Paulsen of Killaloe, within the setting of Choral Evensong. The preacher was Bishop Patrick Rooke of Tuam, Killala and Achonry. Bishop Brenan Leahy of Limerick and his predecessor, Bishop Donal Murray, also took part.

As Precentor of the Cathedral, I welcomed the Mayor of Limerick, Councillor Stephen Keary, at the doors of the cathedral and brought him to his seat.

Greeting and meeting the Mayor of Limerick at Saint Mary’s Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

There were good attendances too not only from the Join Chapters of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert, but also from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, where Niall is the Canon Chancellor, and from the parishes he has worked in, including Holy Trinity, Killiney, and Taney in Dublin, as well as the Limerick parish, which includes Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Saint Michael’s, Pery Square, and Abington.

Sometimes the coincidences we encounter as pray privately and publicly can take me aback. I had chosen the hymns for tomorrow in Castletown and Rathkeale long before I saw this afternoon’s service. The second hymn in the cathedral this afternoon is the hymn I have chosen as the opening hymn in both churches tomorrow morning:

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all, life thou givest, to both great and small;
in all life thou livest, the true life of all;
we blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
and wither and perish, but naught changeth thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render; O help us to see
’tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.


We also sang ‘I heard the voice of Jesus say’ to the tune Kingsfold by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The Closing Prayer was so appropriate for any new start in the life of the church:

God or Father,
Lord of all the world,
through your Son you have called us
into the fellowship of your universal Church:
Hear our prayer for your faithful people
that in their vocation and ministry
each may be an instrument of your love,
and give to your servant Niall who has been instituted,
the needful gifts of grace;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Precentor’s stall in the Chapter in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

1 comment:

Colette McCarthy said...

Thank you for that article and for the lovely picture of the event. I live in Killiney and I can only say that Holy Trinity Church's loss is Limerick's gain. In trying to organise a trip to places important in Blessed John Sullivan's early life in Killiney, I was welcomed and greatly helped by Rev. Niall. He made it possible for my group to access the church on the same day as his installation in Limerick, despite the fact that all his parishioners were with him in Limerick. We had a blessed, prayerful visit and were able to view the plaque to Robert Sullivan (Bl. John's brother), and the lectern and window donated by Constance Exham's parents, both commemorating the two young people who drowned in 1877 in Killiney Bay.
Colette Mc Carthy