At his ordination yesterday at the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne, Bishop Fintan Gavin said he was struck by the “generous and heartfelt welcome and offer of support” he has received since he arrived in Cork from Dublin.
Bishop Gavin said yesterday begins a new chapter in the diocesan story and one that needed to promote the “challenging but wonderfully fulfilling” life of a priest.
“We need to promote a culture of vocational discernment and consideration of all of the Christian vocations to love and service.
“We are fortunate to have in Cork & Ross, dedicated, hardworking and faithful priests who continue to give generous service, but they are a group that is getting smaller.
“We need to actively go out of our way to encourage, foster, nourish and promote vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.
“We need to help young men, all those who feel that Jesus may be calling them to follow him as priests, to hear and respond to God’s call to the priesthood. Priests come from our families and as families, we must nurture and support those vocations.”
Bishop Gavin also addressed those who have lost their faith in recent years, due to the scandals in the Church.
“To those who have lost their faith or are struggling to hang on in there particularly because of the awful things that individuals or institutions have done in the name of the Church, we need to stretch out a hand of dialogue and listening so that their voices are heard - so that we can apologise once again and learn from the awful things that were allowed to happen. We can never allow this to happen again.”