St. Patrick’s Day Mass in the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Anne was celebrated with an in-person congregation for the first time in three years.
The principal celebrant was Bishop Fintan Gavin. The Rt. Hon. Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Colm Kelleher and Ms. Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council were part of a large number of civic and public representatives in attendance. Mr. Simon Coveney, The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence was also present.
Bishop Fintan thanked all who worked together in solidarity over the last two years during the global pandemic. He said that this same spirit of solidarity will be needed again to welcome those arriving to our Diocese fleeing the war in Ukraine.
“Today we find ourselves emerging from the very dark days of the pandemic,” Bishop Fintan said, “But now we’re being plunged deeper and deeper into a devastating war affecting the whole world.”
Bishop Fintan told the congregation that in his exile and his experience of darkness Patrick turned to God and there found comfort, support and strength.
“He trusts in God. Nowhere is this captured as fully as in the prayer based on the writings of St Patrick known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate.”
“In it he invites Christ to surround him with a “forcefield” of protection – “Christ with me, Christ on my right and left. Christ beneath me and above me, behind and before me”.
“This morning as we gather to celebrate the eucharist on the feast of St Patrick we pray those words for ourselves and our country, we pray for the people of Ukraine that God will be with them in this time of anguish and pain.”