Pope Benedict XV1 joined with the people and clergy of the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly on Monday night in joyously celebrating the Silver Jubilee of the Episcopal ordination of Archbishop Dermot Clifford to the See of Cashel and Emly.
A message of congratulations from the Pope was read to the packed Cathedral congregation at the special Mass of Thanksgiving on Monday night at which Archbishop Clifford was Chief Concelebrant, assisted by Dean of the Diocese, Rt Rev Christy O Dwyer, and Archdeacon, Very Rev Mattie McGrath.
Also present was Cardinal Sean Brady, Primate of All-Ireland, a seminary classmate of Archbishop Clifford’s both in Maynooth and Rome, and long-time friend.
Pope Benedict’s message of congratulations, conveyed by Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, thanked Archbishop Clifford for his years of dedicated ministry as Priest and Archbishop and wished him many more years with his flock in the diocese.
Archbishop Clifford was joined on this joyous occasion by fellow bishops, Most Rev Dr John Buckley, Cork; Most Rev Dr William Lee of Waterford; and Most Rev Dr Willie Walshe, former Bishop of Killaloe.
Also present, and concelebrating the Mass was the Archbishop’s brother, Fr Brendan Clifford OP, along with most of the clergy of the archdiocese and representatives of the religious orders.
The diocesan choir, under the direction of Choir Mistress Marette Dunphy, drawn from all forty six parishes, contributed appropriate sacred music, during the very prayerful and joyful ceremony.
Rev Dean Knowles of Cashel represented the Church of Ireland.
The homily was preached by Archbishop Clifford himself, in the course of which he thanked the people and clergy of the diocese for their support and prayers since his arrival here initially as Coadjutor to the late Archbishop Thomas Morris, and later as Archbishop on Archbishop Morris’ retirement.
Cardinal Brady thanked the people of Cashel and Emly for giving him the opportunity to be present to celebrate such a joyous occasion. He availed of the opportunity to thank Archbishop Clifford for his friendship and unfailing good humour over the years and wished him many more years in the service of the archdiocese.
At the conclusion, Dean Christy O’Dwyer, on behalf of the people and clergy, made a presentation to Archbishop Clifford of a specially commissioned piece in silver to mark the occasion. Dean O’Dwyer, congratulated Archbishop Clifford on reaching this milestone and thanked him for his dedication to the people of the archdiocese.
After the Mass, on the steps of the Cathedral, His Grace received the personal congratulations of the congregation before a reception to mark the occasion in St Patrick’s College.