This year again, at The Easter Vigil here in Dublin’s Pro Cathedral, we had great joy and rejoicing as we welcomed six young adults into our Catholic Community.
Principal Celebrant Archbishop Diarmuid Martin performed the baptisms before a capacity congregation. The newly baptised were well supported by the presence of quite a good group of other young Chinese. Columban Sister Lucia So and a few other Chinese Sisters who are studying here were also present. This year, too, half the Sponsors were Chinese and the rest Irish.
The whole Easter Vigil Liturgy was very impressive and lasted for over 2 hours. The Liturgy was organised by Fr Damian McNiece, M.C to The Archbishop. Some of you will remember him as Sr Mary Anthony Finnegan’s grandnephew. He has a great love for and appreciation of The Columban Sisters!
There were 10 priests concelebrating The Mass. Five of these were young Chinese priests: Fr Anthony our Chaplain, who prepared the catechumens for baptism, Fr Matthew S.J. a young priest from Taiwan, ordained last year and now back completing his studies here, plus three other young Chinese priests who are students here. There was also a young African priest and the remainder were Irish. The presence of so many different nationalities was a real reminder of the changing face of the New Ireland.
The very professional Palestrina Choir with the Orchestra of St Cecilia provided the Music and Song for the celebration.
Some of the newly baptised, James, William, Tony and Bernadette were invited to take part in The Prayers of The Faithful; I was invited to pray for all the newly baptised. They participated too in the Offertory Procession.
Archbishop Martin was delighted with the baptisms and as he congratulated the New Catholics, the huge congregation present gave a tumultuous clap. For The Archbishop and the priests and congregation present, and indeed for the Church in Dublin, this special event was a very meaningful reminder of The Presence and Love of The Risen Lord.
It was a timely and blessed occasion, too, after all the publicity in recent months on The Child Sex Abuse scandals as evidenced around our city, by the anger of the abused, the demonstrations, etc. The Church here in our Dublin Diocese needs our prayers as it continues to grapple with the turmoil and fall out from The Ryan and Murphy Reports.
The Easter Vigil Event this year certainly gave a very positive witness to our Faith, and Spreading the Good News especially as this is The Year of Evangelization here in our diocese.
Another blessing worth noting too is that Fr Anthony has already started another Catechumen Class with several participants, including a young man from Hong Kong. Lucia is also instructing a young woman from Macau.
So, Chinese Missionaries have now come to Ireland and are very much part of the work of Evangelization here!
After our Liturgy, we were all invited to a special Tea Party hosted by The Pro Cathedral. Archbishop Martin also joined in this celebration.