On Monday evening the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles, was the scene of a very joyful Silver Jubilee Celebration of the Episcopal Ordination of Dr Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly.
The large congregation present was comprised of priests, religious and lay faithful from throughout the archdiocese. These were joined by bishops and other priest representatives from the dioceses of Munster and further afield. Dean Philip Knowles represented the Church of Ireland at the ceremony.
Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh, presided at the Mass of Thanksgiving while the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, read a message of congratulations and good wishes from Pope Benedict XV1.
At the conclusion of the Mass Cardinal Brady, friend and colleague of Archbishop Clifford since their student days in Maynooth and Rome, congratulated the Archbishop on the happy occasion of his Episcopal Jubilee.
Fr Christy O�Dwyer, parish priest of Cashel and Rosegreen, spoke on behalf of the priests and people of the archdiocese, congratulating the archbishop, thanking him for his twenty five years of episcopal ministry in the archdiocese and wishing him well for the future.
On behalf of the priests and people, he also presented Archbishop Clifford with a beautiful silver replica of the facade of Thurles Cathedral, designed and crafted by Ms Eimear Conyard of the Craft Council of Ireland, Kilkenny.
In response, Archbishop Clifford thanked all involved in the joyful Jubilee Celebration. He was most grateful for the warm welcome which he received in the archdiocese and the generous support of priests and people over the past twenty five years. It was a privilege, as well as an onerous responsibility, to serve the good people of Cashel and Emly as Archbishop, he concluded.
Cashel & Emly diocesan choir with organist, John Gorman, provided the beautiful music and song which adorned the ceremony while representatives from parishes throughout the archdiocese led the Readings and Prayers of the Faithful. Children from the seven primary schools in Thurles parish formed the impressive procession with the offertory gifts.
Following the cathedral ceremony, hundreds enjoyed light refreshments in nearby St Patrick�s College, a pleasant conclusion to a memorable and very enjoyable occasion.