The new rector of the Wexford and Kilscoran parishes has outlined his ambition to “rebuild community and communities of faith” as he embarks on his new role. The Reverend Norman McCausland was instituted at a special service in St Iberius Church last week by The Venerable Ruth Elmes..
Mr McCausland, who succeeds Canon Arthur Minion, is from originally from Omagh in Co Tyone, prior to this appointment he was rector of the parish of Raheny and Coolock in the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough for nine years.
Ordained in 1989, Norman has a rich variety of pastoral and parochial experience and has served on the staff of the Church of Ireland Theological College. He is also known for his interests and qualifications in music, theatre and communications. He is married to Tara and has three sons - Cian 23, Tom 21, and Conor 12.
The new rector thanked everyone for the warm parish, civic and ecumenical welcome he has received since arriving in Wexford and thanked all those who had organised the service.
“I look forward to getting to know you all, to time together when we will meet the challenge of being a Christian in the world today, in a post-Covid era that has taken its toll on our numbers, our congregations, on our mental health, in so many different ways,” he said. “I’m about building and rebuilding and the challenge for all of us is to rebuild community and communities of faith.”
The preacher at the service was The Reverend Canon Gillian Wharton, rector of Mount Merrion parish in Dublin. She welcomed the new rector and his family to Wexford and wished Mr McCausland well in this new chapter of his life.
“It is an exciting and daunting time for ministry as we try to work out how it is that we go forward,” she said.
Pointing out that people, clergy and parishioners are tired after the difficulties of the pandemic and the human cost of the war in Ukraine and other strife around the world she also said that it is time to look to the future and to using everyone’s skills in a parish to develop its ministry, particularly as there are now many more boxes to be ticked and forms to be filled’ in order to comply with State rules and regulations.
“Clergy can’t do it all,” she said. “The hallmark of His ministry was how people loved and cared for each other. Norman is first and foremost here to care and love you and bring you an experience of God’s love and God’s ministry as shown in the person of Jesus of Christ. And each of you is called to share in that ministry with him so tonight is a night of joy for Wexford and Kilscoran.”
Fr Billy Swan of Wexford parish welcomed Norman on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church and looked forward to continuing the strong ecumenical relationship that has been established by clergy of all faith traditions in Wexford. “I welcome you and wish you every blessing for a long and fruitful ministry here in Wexford for many years to come,” he said.
He also acknowledged the work, service and friendship of Norman’s predecessor, Canon Arthur Minion and saluted the dedicated ministry of the Reverend Conor O’Reilly, curate, who was particularly busy during the vacancy.
Norman was also welcomed by The Reverend Katherine Kehoe of the Methodist Church.
“I am delighted to be here this evening to greet you and welcome you and your family to the sunny south-east,” she said. “My prayer for you this evening as you set out on a new adventure and journey with God is that the light of hope will fill your heart with peace and love.”
Chair of Wexford County Council, George Lawlor welcomed him on behalf of the people of Wexford town and county. “Congratulations on being appointed to this place where you will find friendly and welcoming people. I hope it is a most enjoyable stage in your ministry,” he said.
He also pointed out the many attractions of Wexford for a person interested in the arts listing the many drama, music and cultural organisations in the area.
Completing the greetings, parishioner Anna Skrine also welcomed the newly-instituted rector to the Union of Parishes that includes nine churches – St Iberius, Wexford, Ardcolm (Castlebridge), St Munn’s, Taghmon, St James’s, Horetown, Killurin Church, St Enoch’s, Killinick, St David’s, Mulrankin, St Paul’s, Balloughton and St Peter’s, Kilscoran.
The organist at the service was Dr Jeffrey Cox and he was accompanied by trumpeter Anthony Nolan. Guests included the Mayor of Wexford, Ms Maura Bell and the President of Wexford Chamber of Commerce, Mr Brendan Crowley.
Refreshments were served in Clayton White’s Hotel Wexford after the service and a cake cut by The Reverend McCausland to celebrate the special event.