On Sunday afternoon, 7th April 2019, a very warm welcome was given to the new rector of the Fermoy Union of Parishes, the Reverend Gary Paulsen. The landmark church, Christ Church Fermoy, not far from the banks of the River Blackwater, was full.
Parishioners from Fermoy Union were joined by guests from Gary’s former parish in Killaloe, as well as clergy and readers from Limerick and Killaloe, Cork, Cloyne and Ross, and William Montgomery representing the local Presbyterian Church. Representing the Roman Catholic Church were Canon Michael Leamy (Rathcormack), Fr Emaon Kelleher (Kildorrery), Canon Donal Leahy (Kilworth), Canon Michael Fitzgerald (Mitchelstown), and Father Donal Cotter (Glenville and Watergrasshill).
Among the guests were Kevin O’Keeffe, T.D., Councillor Kay Dawson, Councillor Deirdre O’Brien, Councillor Frank O’Flynn, Inspector Tony O’Sullivan (An Garda Síochána), four representatives from the Irish UN Veteran Association, Mrs Hilary Dring (new Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union), and Mr Billy Skuse (Diocesan Secretary).
The Sermon was preached by the Very Reverend Niall Sloane, Dean of Limerick. The organist for the occasion was Mr Colin Nicholls. Many parishioners, young and old, took part in the Service during which the Bishop, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, formally instituted Gary to the Incumbency, and commissioned him for his ministry. Afterwards everyone adjourned to the Adair Hall next door for a reception.
Gary Paulsen was born in Cape Town South Africa and lived in the Western Cape most of his life until coming to Ireland in 2011. Gary said:
I come to Fermoy with the experience of life and of church in different contexts and I hope to have a positive impact on people’s lives and their experience of God within the church and wider community.