independent

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Warm welcome for Rev Hallissey

John Keeley, Fay Whelan, Lochlan Cameron, Rose Whelan, Rev Terry Lilburn and Audrey Keeley
John Keeley, Fay Whelan, Lochlan Cameron, Rose Whelan, Rev Terry Lilburn and Audrey Keeley
Anna Ovington, Principal of Powerscourt NS, presents a bonsai tree to Rev Hallissey
Rev Cathy Hallissey with her family – Lizzie, Robert, Eddie and Claire
Rev Martin O’Kelly, Rev Ruth O’Kelly, Siobhan O’Raw, Arch Deacon Neal O’Raw and Barbara Davis

Mary Fogarty

The people of the parishes of Powerscourt and Kilbride turned out in force last Friday evening to give a warm welcome to their new rector.

The Revd Cathy Hallissey was instituted by Archbiship Michael Jackson, in St Patrick's Church, Powerscourt.

Cathy's husband Eddie, daughters Lizzie and Claire and son Robert were among the large congregation, as well as many friends, well-wishers, and a large contingent from Taney Parish, where she served as Curate. The principal and teachers from Powerscourt National School also attended.

The preacher was Canon Fred Appelbe, who recently retired from the neighbouring parish of Rathmichael. He told parishioners that Cathy was a wife, a mum, a pastor and a graduate of the school of hard knocks and the proverbial university of life. She also possessed an innate wisdom, intuition and exploitative honest faith, he said.

Canon Appelbe said that he and his counterparts who had served many years in ministry had noticed many changes in parish ministry in the last two decades. There were fewer call-outs to hospitals and homes with people not expecting clergy to be present at every death. The institutional church had taken a beating from many angles and was often greeted with antipathy.

It was into this context that Cathy was landing as a Rector, he said and wondered what a rector was to do into the light of this reality. He said that while clergy were ordained to be purveyors of forgiveness, grace and to live prayerfully in the Spirit, they could also experience the guilt of wondering if they were doing enough. He urged Cathy's new parishioners to be aware of this at a time of 'great expectations'.

The evening continued with a reception after the service in the neighbouring Summerhill House Hotel. Principal of Powerscourt National School, Anna Ovington, welcomed Cathy and her family and presented Cathy with a bonsai tree as a symbol of growth and harmony between the parish and the school.

Speaking on behalf of the Catholic community in Enniskerry, Fr Bernard Kennedy, highlighted the focus on ecumenism which exists between Powerscourt with Kilbride and St Mary's Parish in Enniskerry.

Eddie Hallissey said he was so proud of his wife who they had watched in amazement over the last eight years as she embarked on the journey which had led them to her institution. He spoke of her bravery and resolve and her dedication to pastoral care. He thanked parishioners for making them feel so welcome.

Cathy said they had been 'borne on a wave of support over the last two weeks'. She thanked everyone who had helped make arrangements for her institution and all who had attended to the rectory and the grounds.

'Looking at this magnificent parish I am reminded of the hands that cared for it before and we think of Archdeacon Ricky Rountree, the Revd Terry Lilburn and the Revd Niall Stratford,' she said. She thanked her family for their support and for uprooting themselves from Dundrum.

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