A warm welcome was extended to the Rev Alex Morahan at yesterday evening’s Institution which took place at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Killala, Co Mayo.
The Rt Revd Michael Burrows led the service, opening with words of welcome for all present, including many who had travelled by bus from Bunclody – Rev Alex’s former parish – to support him.
‘Just as in a single human body there are many limbs and organs, all with different functions, so we who are united with Christ, though many, form one body and belong to one another as its limbs and organs. We have gifts allotted to each of us by God’s grace’ Romans 12. 5.6
The Archdeacon, the Venerable John Godfrey presented the Rev Morahan for institution to serve as Incumbent for the Killala Group of Parishes and members of the local community read the lessons which were from Jeremiah 31. 31-24 and 1 John 3. 1-3. The Rev Clive Moore read the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapter 5 and the Rev Canon Trevor Sargent preached, expressing his admiration for the Rev Alex, whom he has known for many years – going back to his time as a hospital chaplain. The Bishop then conducted the Act of Institution and the Commission, with members of the congregation presenting symbols of teaching, pastoral and sacramental ministry of an Incumbent being presented to the new Rector. The Rev Morahan led the prayers of the intercessions and thanksgivings. Hymns sung included, ‘Be Thou my Vision’, ‘One more step along the world I go’, ‘Ag Criost an Síol’ and ‘Will your anchor hold in the storms of life’.
After the service, words of welcome were extended on behalf of the parishes by Mr Norman Reid; for the RC Community, Bishop John Fleming; Minister Darragh Calleary TD.; Councillor Michael Loftus, Cathaoirleach, Mayo County Council – with much talk of Mayo for Sam!
The Bishop then spoke of the first time he had met Alex in Kilkenny when he arrived at the Bishops’ residence in a camper van, with duck eggs – many theological conversations ensued and, he encouraged Alex to lay many great eggs in his new ministry in Killala! He then declared that he was about to mix his metaphors by pulling a rabbit out of the bag – bestowing upon the newly instituted Rector, a seat on the Chapter of Killala Cathedral, the Prebendary of Errew. The Rev Canon Alex Morahan responded with words of surprise and gratitude – for all the special people in his life – his partner Maggie and their daughter Megan, the loves of his life; his family, many friends and the teenagers and staff at Kilkenny College and to the Rev Canon Trevor Sargent who had been there as he celebrated his first service of Holy Communion as a Church of Ireland priest. He said he was genuinely glad to be back and looked forward to serving the community in Counties Mayo and Sligo.
Refreshments were served afterwards at the Killala Community Centre.
Report by Heather Pope, Tuam Diocesan Administrator