Bishop-elect Ger Nash ‘privileged to be chosen’

By Dan Walsh

Speaking on his appointment as Bishop of Ferns in St. Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, on Friday, Bishop-elect Ger Nash said; As we gather here in this beautiful cathedral, it is with a great sense of unworthiness that I accept the gracious invitation of Pope Francis to the ministry of Bishop here in the historic Diocese of Ferns.

“I am privileged to be chosen by Pope Francis to lead this historic Diocese and I feel very humbled. I would like to thank His Excellency, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, for his presence here this morning, leading us in the celebration of the Eucharist, as well as his kind support and detailed preparations for this announcement.

“My links to Ferns Diocese is principally through the Ferns students who were classmates in Maynooth. Fr. John Carroll, Diocesan Secretary, has been a source of both welcome and help over the past week and whose deep knowledge of the Diocese I know I will draw on frequently during the coming years. I also mention today with great affection, the late Fintan Morris who was a great friend in Maynooth and afterwards and who would no doubt have a raised eyebrow at me standing here. 

BISHOP DENIS BRENNAN (Retiring), BISHOP-ELECT GER NASH and His Excellency ARCHBISHOP JUDE THADDEUS OKOLA, Papal Nuncio to Ireland, pictured in the grounds of St. Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, following last Friday’s historic announcement. (Pic; Diocese of Ferns).

“I would like to thank Bishop Denis Brennan for the welcome extended to me from the moment he heard of my appointment. Thank you Bishop Denis – and I also want to offer thanks on your behalf for his leadership and care of the Diocese over the past 15 years. I wish you good health and time to enjoy your retirement. Thanks also to John Carroll and Fr’s Odhrán Furlong and Jim Doyle here in the Cathedral Parish for their co-ordination of the preparations for today.  Thanks also to the Vicars of the Diocese, Joe McGrath, Denis Browne, Aodhan Marken and Brian Broaders and to Trish Murphy in the Diocesan Office.

“My hope and prayer is that we can work together here in Ferns with the Spirit of God sustaining us to nurture the faith and to ensure that our Church is a place of welcome and hospitality for all. 

“I have a sense that we are at a turning point in our Church story in Ireland, and it is exciting to be asked to take a leadership role at such a time. I look forward, with the help of God, to walking with the people and parish communities throughout the diocese of Ferns as we respond to that call to synodality.

“Today (Friday) is the Feast of the Sacred Heart, an image familiar to most of us reared in 20th century Ireland with its distinctive Sacred Heart picture and lamp. Can I suggest that its expression today is to remind me that I am called to have a heart for all people and to paraphrase the old prayer “Christ has no heart on earth but ours”. 

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