New bishop calls for prayers to promote vocations
The new Bishop of Waterford and Lismore wants to reach out to Catholics who have "turned away" from the practise of the faith and said that, with encouragement, there are many people who can commit to the church.
During his ordination as bishop in Waterford yesterday, Alphonsus Cullinan called for prayers to promote vocations to the church. "I am convinced that there are many more who, with the right encouragement, can be helped to make life commitments in the church - whether that be to marriage, religious life, the permanent diaconate, or the priesthood," he said.
Later, speaking to the media, Bishop Cullinan said he would like to personally drive new vocations. "I've got to go out and ask: 'Would you consider a vocation to the priesthood or religious life?'"
In his address, he spoke of Catholics who are no longer active in the church.
"We reach out to those who have turned away from the practise of the faith, many of whom are in our own families and parish communities," he said.
The bishop, who is originally from Lahinch and spent most of his years as a priest in Limerick, drew laughter when he asked the congregation: "How are the people in this part of the world going to put up with a Clare man?"
Around 800 people gathered at Waterford Cathedral for the ordination yesterday. President Michael D Higgins was represented by his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kiernan, while Commandant Kieran Carey represented Taoiseach Enda Kenny.