The Bishop of Cork and Ross John Buckley praised the attendance at the annual Eucharistic Procession in Cork on Sunday. He said the turnout was particularly gratifying given the numerous other events taking place, including the Munster SHC semi-final and the Cork Summer Show.
This year’s procession was, said Bishop Buckley, an opportunity for the people of Cork city to give public witness to their faith. Many Catholic groups who contribute to the life of the city were invited to participate, including the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, the various Sick Poor Societies, teenagers involved in SHARE and post-primary school pupils from around the city.
Cork’s multicultural nature was on display during the procession, with members of the Asian, African and Eastern European communities in the city in attendance.
Bishop Buckley asked those present to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Fr. Evin O’Brien from Mahon parish was ordained in Mahon last week but Bishop Buckley said that the Diocese and its parishes needed more men willing to serve the people.
The religious ceremony was held at an altar in Daunt’s Square, where special places were reserved for the sick and those in wheelchairs.
Bishop Buckley encouraged people to pray for those suffering. He said that he was particularly mindful of those who are graduating and those sitting their Leaving Certificate in a time of fewer jobs. He also asked for prayers for those who were sick at this time.
This year the homily was delivered by Bishop William Crean, the Bishop of Cloyne, who said that participating in the Eucharistic Procession bore witness to the faith of the attendees.
In his homily, Bishop Crean said he respected and valued freedom of choice and did not wish to live in a theocracy. However, he said, he and others have a deep concern around religious participation in society. He described a propensity to view all things religious and spiritual as private and peripheral to society as regrettable and said other societies who have taken such a path have regretted it.
Bishop Buckley thanked the City Council, the Gardai, the Civil Defence, Order of Malta and Saint John Ambulance brigade for their assistance with the procession. He thanked the Church of the Incarnation choir for their singing, particularly soloists Jessica O’Connell and Ramelo Gregorio, and paid tribute to the organising committee.