Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Diocesan Readers & new Canon Precentor

This full-page report and these three photographs are published in the March 2017 edition of Newslink, the diocesan magazine of the United Dioceses of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert:

(l-r) Canon Precentor Patrick Comerford, Bishop Kenneth Kearon and Dean of Killaloe & Clonfert Gary Paulsen

Diocesan Readers & new Canon Precentor

Choral Evensong in St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick on Sunday 19th February 2017 marked three joyful events in the life of the United Dioceses of Limerick & Killaloe.

Firstly, Bishop Kenneth launched the new Guild of Lay Readers, chaired by Audrey Clarke Gordon of Nenagh Union of Parishes, in a ceremony in which existing diocesan readers recommitted themselves to the work for which they were commissioned.

Secondly, Bishop Kenneth commissioned there diocesan readers for work in Limerick & Killaloe: Mrs Norma-Jean Carney (Birr Group of Parishes)and Jerome Phair (Clonfert Group of Parishes) were newly commissioned after successfully completing the Certificate in Christian Studies programme run in the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossry; and Dr Steven Ellis, already a diocesan reader in the Diocese of Tum, Killala & Achonry, was also commissioned for Limerick & Killaloe, where he often serves.

And thirdly, Rev Patrick Comerford, Priest-in-Charge of Rathkeale & Kilnaughtin, was installed as Canon Precentor of the Joint Chapter of St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, St Flannan’s Cathedral, Killaloe and St Brendan’s Cathedral, Clonfert.

Diocesan reader Jackie McNair, Chaplain at Villiers School, led the service beautifully.

Newly commissioned diocesan readers (l-r) Jerome Phair, Norma-Jean Carney and Dr Steven Ellis, with warden of readers Ven Wayne Carney and Bishop Kenneth Kearon

The guest preacher, Rt Rev Patrick Rooke, Bishop of Tuam, Killala & Achonry, reflected eloquently on the importance of the ministry and witness of lay readers, and of the educational role that Canon Patrick Comerford will shortly take up. He touched on the turbulent times we live in. In a turbulent world he urged readers in their ministries to be “wise friends”, a source of insight and discernment from a distant centre, but close both to parish clergy and to the people they serve.

The choir of St Mary’s Cathedral, under the direction of Pater Barley, did full justice to Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by Harwood in A flat and the anthem Expectans expectavi by Charles Wood – fine singing does so much to bring worship to life.

The refrain of the final hymn (456 Lord, you give the great commission) perfectly captured the prayerful mood of the service:

With the Spirit’s gift inspire us
for the work of ministry.


The newly-launched Guild of Lay Readers for the Diocese of Limerick & Killaloe

Praying in Lent 2017 with USPG,
(10) Tuesday 7 March 2017

‘Pray for … our efforts to be salt and light in society’ … evening lights in Saint Vedast-alias-Foster in London (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

Patrick Comerford

Last night in the Rectory in Askeatro, we began a series of Monday evening Lenten studies, with parishioners joining me in discussing the Bible readings set out in Bishop Kenneth Kearon’s Lenten Challenge to the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe.

The Lent 2017 edition of the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) follows the theme of the USPG Lent study course, ‘Living an Authentic Life.’

I am using this Prayer Diary for my prayers and reflections each morning throughout Lent. Why not join me in these prayers and reflections, for just a few moments each morning?

In the articles and prayers in the prayer diary, USPG invites us to investigate what it means to be a disciple of Christ. The Lent study course, ‘Living an Authentic Life’ (available online or to order at www.uspg.org.uk/lent), explores the idea that discipleship and authenticity are connected.

This week, from Sunday (5 March) until Saturday (11 March), the USPG Lent Prayer Diary follows the topic ‘Introducing Discipleship.’ The topic is introduced in the Prayer Diary in an article by the Revd S Balasundram, a priest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, who is training with the USPG-funded Asian Theological Academy.

Tuesday 7 March 2017:

Christ calls us to actively engage in our world (see article). Pray for the Revd S Balasundram in Sri Lanka – and Christians around the world – in our efforts to be salt and light in society.

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s reflection and prayer