Confirmation Retreat Weekend in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

This is the third year that the Cork Diocesan Youth Council (CDYC) have run a Confirmation Retreat Weekend in the Carhue Centre in Bandon, County Cork. Even though in previous years, the weekend was held over the May Bank Holiday, this year it was decided to run it in conjunction with the Bishop’s Confirmation Morning in Canon Packham Hall in Douglas which was held on the 2nd of March.

Young people who attended the Confirmation Retreat

Some of the candidates from around the Diocese arrived in Carhue on the Friday evening for some games, food and a ‘Worship’ session led by the Rev. Cliff Jeffers and Marg Everett.

On Saturday morning, they were bussed to the Bishop’s Confirmation morning in Douglas.After a very enjoyable morning, the group were then taken to Leisure Plex in Cork for a game of Bowling and Quasar.  Once back at the Carhue centre, later that afternoon, the group had dinner and a session on the ‘Bible’ led by Mrs. Judy Peters before more games and fun.

Group at the Confirmation Retreat in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

The weekend finished on Sunday morning, with the Leaders in Training group organizing the last session on ‘Prayer’. With very detailed and well organized Prayer Stations set up around the conference room, the candidates worked their way through them very attentively and keen to spend time at each station.

Leaders in training at the Confirmation retreat.

This weekend is a great introduction into youth activities around the Diocese. It also encourages and enables the young people to make new connections and friendships making it easier for them to integrate into bigger diocesan youth events and being part of the Church of Ireland community on a wider scale.

Busy at the Confirmation Retreat in Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

Posted in CDYC, Confirmation, Diocese, Retreat, Youth Work

Saint Patrick’s Day Reception for Civic Guests in Cork

Each year, the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton and Mrs Susan Colton host a reception for invited guests in their home following the Festival and Civic Eucharist in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.  Nearly 200 guests were received this year, led by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn, the CEO of Cork City Council, Ms Ann Doherty, the Deputy Mayor of Cork County, Cllr Derry Canty, City Councillors, TDs and Senators, representatives of the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána, NGOs, charities and youth organisations in the Diocese.

Niall Barry of Barrys Photographic Services was on hand to take photos:

Posted in Bishop, Church Services, Civic Service, Cork, People from Cork, Photo Montage

‘Society and the world need bridge-builders’ – Bishop Paul Colton at St Patrick’s Day Civic Service in Cork

Preaching at the annual Civic Service in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork to mark St Patrick’s Day, the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, said that ‘more than ever our society and world needs bridge-builders.’  Speaking in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn, and the Deputy Mayor of Cork County, Cllr Derry Canty, Councillors, Micheál Martin, T,D,. Leader of the Opposition, members of the Oireachtas, representatives of the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána, NGOs, community groups, as well as of the civic and business life of Cork, the Bishop set his remarks against the backdrop of the atrocity committed against Muslims at prayer in mosques in New Zealand, as well as in the context of the continuing disharmony arising from BREXIT, and the recollection of some of the wounds of our history in this period of centenary commemorations.  He said:

More than ever our society and world needs bridge-builders.  The ghastly and horrendous atrocity at the Mosques in New Zealand – and it is important, I believe,  not to talk simply about the horror in New Zealand, but to remember specifically that our Muslim brothers and sisters of faith, were targeted – all of this exemplifies how challenging the tasks of education, nurturing understanding, dialogue, demythologising are, if we are to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems – often ideological, and often infused with misplaced and hijacked religious outlook and zeal: extremism.

The wake of BREXIT, whatever that will be, (for now we truly know that the phrase ‘Brexit means Brexit’ is one of the most vacuous of the 21st Century … ), whatever the fallout will be, our bridge-building skills in politics, economics, commerce and at many other levels will be called upon.   The Centenary commemorations of the present period in Ireland also highlight, for many, old wounds. One hundred years is not that long ago. …

As much as ever before, perhaps more than ever, we are called to be bridge-builders, bridging the gaps in the human diversity and differences that, rather than dividing us, should enrich us, nourish us, and make us a better humanity.  Bridge-building is a civic obligation. It is also the calling of all Christians:

The full text of Bishop Colton’s Sermon is as follows:

Sermon preached by the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton,

Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

in the Cathedral Church of Saint Fin Barre, Cork

on Saint Patrick’s Day, 2019

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; … so we are ambassadors for Christ’

(2 Corinthians 5.18 and 20b)

As a young child growing up in Douglas, going into St Luke’s Church, we walked passed then, as parishioners still do today, the grave of Sir John Arnott. It was he who, as Mayor of Cork, opened St Patrick’s Bridge on 12th December 1861.  The foundation stone had been laid two years earlier on 10 November 1859.

Yesterday, we returned to that beautifully restored bridge, one of the key symbols of life in our City,  with you Lord Mayor, to watch you put the final piece of stonework in place. And very deftly you did it too!  It was a joy to be part of history, and to join with Bishop Buckley in saying prayers to mark the occasion.

Today’s bridge is, as we know, not the first bridge built at that point over our River Lee.   When the ancient city of Cork, centred on North Main and South Main Streets, expanded in the 18th century, including the development of St Patrick’s Street, the first St Patrick’s Bridge was built.  A foundation stone was laid on 25th July 1788, but six months later on 17th January 1789 a flood washed away the partially completed bridge. It was rebuilt, and was opened on 29th September 1789. That bridge was destroyed, again by a severe weather event in 1853 and was replaced by a temporary timber bridge. It, in turn,  was replaced by what we have and value today.

As an enduring lesson and reminder for us all in life, it’s worth remembering that the building of that first bridge had its objectors and the plans were met by opposition.  Good ideas are often opposed; one of life’s simple lessons.

Our city could not function without bridges.  Thank God for those who built them and who still maintain them.   Yesterday we marked the restoration of an actual bridge, but what about those figurative bridges that need to be built in our community, nation and world, and perhaps even in our own organisations, or within ourselves, in our own lives?

Last September, An Tánaiste Simon Coveney, T.D., addressing the United Nations General Assembly (and this, I emphasise, is not political endorsement from the pulpit, rather it is latching on to a valuable insight), said:

We Irish are by nature bridge-builders and talkers. But we listen too – to all sides – and work to build collective solutions to our global challenges. We are committed to hearing the voices of all of you, to forge consensus and common purpose.

The world does indeed need bridge-builders.  All of those whose names were considered for the new pedestrian bridge – we saw the work under way nearby yesterday –  would have been worthy choices. Mary Elmes, whose name you, as our City Councillors, chose, was a Cork born, aid worker and humanitarian, who in her life’s work was a bridge-builder of the kind the world still needs.  

I know that the parishioners of St Michael’s Church of Ireland Church in Blackrock where she was baptised, are thrilled, as are the staff and students of Ashton School, successor of Rochelle School, where she was educated. That, of course, is parochialism.  It is more important to remember that she saw suffering and reached out to respond in a life of self-sacrifice and self-giving. It is important to remember how closely she worked with the Quakers in her life’s work;  Quakers who exemplify, in so many ways that challenge the rest of us, the bridge-building that our world needs.

Bridge-building is at the heart of the Christian message and the obligation of the Christian – the things of faith we celebrate in our country on this St Patrick’s Day.    Talking about what God has done for us and the work of Jesus Christ, Saint Paul said: ‘All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; … so we are ambassadors for Christ.’

Would you believe that I – some still call me ‘the new Protestant bishop’ – that I will, in 8 days time, mark the 20th anniversary of my ordination and consecration as Bishop and my return to Cork as Bishop.  As the years have trundled along, I have become ever more convinced of the importance of bridge-building. Making connections, and networking, in the modern business sense do not go far enough. What really matters is making connections and entering into conversations and exploratory relationships with people who do not hold the same views as us; who are different from us; who challenge us; who disturb us; who confront us; and, yes, even those who hurt us.  Is not this the way of Christ? It’s one thing to love your neighbour as yourself, but he also said: ‘But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,…’  (Matthew 5.44)

I see all manners of bridge-building in the work that so many of you do, and that we celebrate and pray for in this Civic Service today:  Civic authorities, Oireachtas members, State bodies, professions, those of you who work with people in need, youth organisations, including Scouting, and Guiding.  I see the young people from SHARE – you are bridge-builders. You build bridges year after year between the people of Cork, and the very real needs of older people in our city.  

More than ever our society and world needs bridge-builders.  The ghastly and horrendous atrocity at the Mosques in New Zealand – and it is important, I believe,  not to talk simply about the horror in New Zealand, but to remember specifically that our Muslim brothers and sisters of faith, were targeted – all of this exemplifies how challenging the tasks of education, nurturing understanding, dialogue, demythologizing are, if we are to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems – often ideological, and often infused with misplaced and hijacked religious outlook and zeal: extremism.

Here in UCC, Dr Amanullah de Sondy, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam, has been an exemplary bridge-builder from the moment he arrived in Cork.  Writing this weekend in the wake of Friday’s attacks, he said:

Hatred is often not logical or rational … We need honest and critical discussions on Islamophobia at governmental and grassroots levels as we strengthen our resolve against all forms of hate.  … There is no quick solution to stamping out hatred but we heal and strengthen each other when we are aware of each other’s problems in sympathy and empathy.

Dr de Sondy is a man worth listening to.  He is a bridge-builder.

The New Zealand mosques are an all-too immediate example.  The wake of BREXIT, whatever that will be, (for now we truly know that the phrase ‘Brexit means Brexit’ is one of the most vacuous of the 21st Century – no you can’t escape it even today), whatever the fallout will be, our bridge-building skills in politics, economics, commerce and at many other levels will be called upon.   The Centenary commemorations of the present period also highlight, for many, old wounds. One hundred years is not that long ago.

This my friends, is my twentieth anniversary thought for you on this St Patrick’s Day, the day after we reopened St Patrick’s Bridge.  As much as ever before, perhaps more than ever, we are called to be bridge-builders, bridging the gaps in the human diversity and differences that, rather than dividing us, should enrich us, nourish us, and make us a better humanity.  Bridge-building is a civic obligation. It is also the calling of all Christians:

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; … so we are ambassadors for Christ’

(2 Corinthians 5.18 and 20b)

Bishop Paul Colton

Posted in Bishop, Civic Service, Contemporary Issues, Cork, Diocese, Sermons

Death of Dean William (Billy) Beare

The Very Reverend William (Billy) Beare, a son of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, died on Friday 15th March in the care of the staff at Cork University Hospital.  Dean Beare lived in Cork in his retirement, prior to which, from 1999 to 2008, he was Dean of Lismore, the neighbouring Diocese to the north-east.

Billy Beare (born in 1933) was made deacon in 1959 and ordained priest in 1960 and served his first curacy in Waterford.  In 1962 he returned to Cork to serve a further curacy in the then Parish of Holy Trinity with Shandon. In 1964 he was appointed Rector of Rathcormac and, after four years, left there to become rector of Marmullane (Passage West) and Monkstown.  From 1976 to 1982 he was a Diocesan Curate serving as hospital chaplain to all the hospitals in Cork City.  In 1982 he was instituted as rector of Stradbally, Co Laois (1982-1999).  In addition to canonries held in Cashel and Ossory, he was a Prebendary (Canon) of the National Cathedral of Saint Patrick, Dublin.  Billy was predeceased by his wife Rose, and is survived by his children Walter and Rachel, his brothers Bob and George and a wide circle of family and friends.

Bishop Paul Colton writes:

On behalf of us all in Cork, Cloyne and Ross I extend sincere sympathy to the Beare family following Billy’s death, and most especially to Walter and Rachel.  When I was a child in the neighbouring parish of Douglas and Frankfield, I first came to know Billy when he was based in Passage West. Everyone in the Diocese knew him during his time as a hospital chaplain in Cork City. During my time singing with the choir of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, I remember vividly concerts we performed when Billy and his brother Bob were soloists, and, indeed, his son Walter was then also a chorister.  Billy had good advice to give to me when I was selected to train for the ordained ministry, which I have never forgotten.  Therefore, when Billy became rector of Stradbally, Co Laois, I was by then training for ordination, and I was roped in to drive down to Laois to sing with the Cathedral Choir which had travelled from Cork that night to sing at the Service of Institution.  When I worked part-time in RTE in the 1990s, Billy was well-known for the quality and style of his radio broadcasts, which were often commented upon. In retirement he returned to Cork to be near Rose who was in St Luke’s Home, where, once again our paths crossed regularly.  He will be fondly remembered, and again, I extend my condolences to those who knew him best and who loved him most.  May he rest in God’s peace and rise in glory.

Dean William (Billy) Beare

Posted in Announcements, Clergy, Death and Sympathy, Diocese, Funeral in the Diocese

War of Independence Symposium in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

As part of the on-going Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Commemorations and Reconciliation Project (2018-2023), an introductory symposium for clergy and employees of the Diocese was held on Friday, 8th March.  The Project is being supported by the Priorities’ Fund of the Church of Ireland, and was also part of the CME (Continuing Ministerial Education) Programme in the Diocese.

War of Independence Centenary Symposium in Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

Two papers were presented by historians from University College Cork, at this first of a number of events planned for the coming centenary years.  Dr Andy Bielenberg delivered a paper entitled ‘War, revolution, regime change and the  Protestant Community in Co Cork.’   He spoke about Protestant commemoration of the First World War, and Protestant memory of the Irish Revolution, including the Dunmanway massacre.  Dr Bielenberg offered also some thoughtful perspectives on the subject of ‘commemoration’.

War of Independence Centenary Symposium in Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

Dr John Borgonovo’s paper was entitled ‘Republican Commemoration in County Cork’, in which he explored also the the role and perspectives of the churches in the period.  Among the visitors were guests who have been supporting the Bishop with the Diocesan Centenaries Commemoration and Reconciliation Project, and also some members of the Church of Ireland Historical Centenaries Working Group.

Dr John Borgonovo addressing the War of Independence Centenary Symposium in Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

Posted in Centenaries in Ireland, Continuing Ministerial Education, Cork, Cork Centenaries Commemoration and Reconciliation Project, Education

Morning for 2019 Confirmation Candidates with Bishop Colton in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Bishop Paul Colton hosted his annual morning of meeting and activities for the Confirmation candidates in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, on Saturday, 2nd March.  This popular and fun event was held again this year in the Canon Packham Hall, Douglas, Cork and the adjacent Saint Luke’s National School.  A team of clergy and youth workers were on hand to make it all possible.

Nearly 100 young people were present, for a morning of games, activities ,singing and hospitality, and which gave them an opportunity to chat to the Bishop in person before their big day later in the year.

A full gallery of photos is HERE.

Young people from Cork, Cloyne and Ross who were at the Bishop’s Morning for Confirmation Candidates 2019.

Posted in Bishop, Children's Ministry, Children's Work, Confirmation, Diocese, Youth Work

Bishop Colton’s Confirmation Morning 2019 – The Photos

Our resident photographer was on hand to take photos of young people and leaders who were at the Bishop’s Morning for Confirmation Candidates 2019 in Cork, Cloyne and Ross on Saturday 2nd March.  Here is the gallery:

Posted in Bishop, Confirmation, Diocese, People from the Diocese, Photo Montage