Hilary Dring, MU Diocesan President in Cork, Cloyne and Ross, writes:
On Sunday 27th February 2022, the Dean of Armagh, the Very Rev. Shane Forster welcomed
members and friends of the Mothers’ Union to Armagh Cathedral for an All Ireland Festival Service of Thanksgiving and Commissioning.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon as people filled the cathedral from all parts of the island to celebrate and give thanks together. The Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross was represented by Robert and Patsy Devoy, Hazel Sweetnam, and Hilary Dring, who were thrilled to be there and to have a chance to meet with people face to face rather than on Zoom.
A number of people were commissioned by Archbishop John McDowell: Mrs June Butler, for her second term as All Ireland President of the Mothers’ Union, along with the All Ireland Trustees, Joy Gordon, Hazel Speares, Margaret Jacob, Clare Stewart, Mavis Thompson, Ada Lawson and Ann Howard. In addition there was an ‘official welcome’ for the Rev. Ken Rue, the All Ireland treasurer and Mrs Iris Suitor, the newly elected Zonal Trustee for Ireland.
The Mothers’ Union theme for 2022 was “Transformation – Now!” and the Gospel reading at the service was about Zacchaeus, who climbed a sycamore tree so that he would be able to see Jesus. Archbishop McDowell spoke of how Jesus always welcomed people in, how he invited himself to the house of Zacchaeus, and how Jesus’ attitude of welcome, love and acceptance transformed lives. The challenge for us all is to also be truly welcoming to those we meet. Below is a link to the service if you would like to hear his sermon in full.
The music was uplifting – thank you to the choir and organist. It was wonderful to sing together again and to hear such fabulous music. After the service many of the members gathered at the Armagh City Hotel for food and fellowship, also a first for so many of us. Thank you to all who organised the whole event and welcomed us so warmly to a beautiful part of Ireland.
Watch the full service here: