Hundreds attend a packed St Mary's Cathedral in Kilkenny for ordination of Bishop Dermot Farrell

"The role of a bishop is to be a father to his people, a brother to his priests, and a witness of Jesus Christ to the world"

Mary Cody


Mary Cody


Bishop of Ossory Dermot Farrell calls for renewal of faith

Bishop Dermot Farrell

There was great celebration at St Mary's Cathedral this afternoon for the ordination of the new Bishop of Ossaory, Dermot Farrell.

In a touching gesture, the new bishop paid tribute to his mother, who attended the ordination. 

"Today is Mother’s Day. It is a particular joy that my own mother, Carmel, is with us here today. I thank God for the gift that she has been to me, and to my sisters and brother all throughout our lives," he said.

Bishop Farrell also referred to the words of St Augustine.

"When I think of the responsibilities and duties that lie ahead I am comforted by the words of Saint Augustine in a sermon he preached on the anniversary of his ordination.  He told his people: “Believe me, brothers and sisters, that if what I am for you frightens me, what I am with you reassures me.  For you, I am bishop; with you I am a Christian.”

"The role of a bishop is to be a father to his people, a brother to his priests, and a witness of Jesus Christ to the world. Augustine was not only a great theologian, preacher and administrator; Augustine was also a great pastor. He worked to serve his people, to shepherd them. His whole life as a bishop and teacher, can be summed up when he says “it seems to me that one must bring people back... to the hope of finding the truth.”


The Bishop also thanked a number of people present at the ceremony.

"I am grateful to His Excellency, Archbishop Jude Okolo, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, for his kindness in recent days of preparation, and for his presence with us today.  Archbishop Okolo, of course, is not the first Papal Nuncio to grace Kilkenny with his presence.  Archbishop Rinuccini came to bring the support of the universal Church at a time of great change and challenge in our country.  Archbishop, please convey our gratitude to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for the ministry of unity that he humbly and faithfully performs for all amid the contradictions of the world.  To His Grace Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, I express gratitude for ordaining me a Bishop today.  Throughout my years working in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth - of which he is a Trustee - and more recently in preparation for today, he has been most supportive and fraternal.  I look forward to collaborating with you and my brother Bishops.

"I want to express my thanks to emeritus Bishops Seamus Freeman and Laurence Forristal, and particularly to Monsignor Michael Ryan, Diocesan Administrator, for the past twenty months.  He graciously fulfilled this role in addition to his own parish duties.  I cannot adequately express my thanks to Bishop Michael Smith.  In working with him through practically all of my priestly life, my vocation has been strengthened and enriched.  His love for the Church, his fidelity of service, his example of prayerfulness and his availability to both priests and people has inspired me and will continue to do so.

"We are grateful today for the presence of ecumenical leaders, especially Bishop John Neill and Rev Paul Maxwell.

"My thanks to the Monsignor Kieron Kennedy, Administrator of the Cathedral, the stewards, and the staff of the diocesan office for all they have done for this Liturgy.  I express my gratitude to Father Dan Cavanagh for his thought-provoking homily. I thank the choir, the cantors and the Music Director, Father Richard Scriven. Music in the Liturgy is not just to entertain us; great music will always take us to the silence of the mystery from which it comes.

 "For almost 38 years I have been a priest of the Diocese of Meath.  To have been a priest in that that diocese is a matter of great pride for me.  Those priests who have faithfully served and are serving there taught me how to be a priest.  I count on your prayers in the years ahead.  I welcome the priests, religious, and laity of the Diocese of Ossory.  I look forward to your ongoing collaboration and support as we continue to serve the people of our Diocese.  Let us never forget that the Holy Spirit dwells deeply in the heart of every person.  May we live out of this mystery!  May the Holy Spirit make of us a temple of living stones (1Pet 2:5), the Body of Christ throughout the world.  May God who has begun this good work in us bring it to completion. 


"Please remember me in your prayers as I will remember you in mine," he added.