‘Remarkable’ occasion marked at ‘beautiful and hallowed place’ in Limerick cathedral

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Rt. Reverend David Chillingworth, Mayor  James Collins, the Rt. Reverend Kenneth Kearon, Bishop Brendan Leahy and the Very Reverend Niall Sloane  at the celebrations at St Mary's Cathedral  Pictures:

Rt. Reverend David Chillingworth, Mayor James Collins, the Rt. Reverend Kenneth Kearon, Bishop Brendan Leahy and the Very Reverend Niall Sloane at the celebrations at St Mary's Cathedral  Pictures:

LAST Saturday marked 850 years at Limerick’s longest serving cathedral, a “beautiful and hallowed place” and a story of “continuity and faithfulness.”

St Mary’s Cathedral celebrated its 850th anniversary with a special Service of Thanksgiving, “the liturgical highlight of this year’s celebration”, according to Dean of St Mary’s, the Very Rev’d Niall J. Sloane.

Former Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Rt Reverend David Chillingworth, who gave the sermon on Saturday, commending St Mary’s for its “remarkable” anniversary. 

“It is an enormous span of time, a story of continuity and faithfulness,” Rt Revd Chillingworth said. 

“Ancient church buildings are extraordinary places. They are hallowed with the prayers of generations.”

“They are a repository of memories, countless baptisms, weddings and funerals, alongside civic and community events of all kinds.” 

“This Cathedral of course matters deeply to the Church of Ireland community of the south and west. It symbolises our distinctive way of faith.”

“But Cathedrals are much more than that,” he added.

“They transcend the life of the Christian denomination which happens to hold them in trust.” 

“Look around at the ecumenical and community diversity of this congregation. 

“We welcome one another and we support one another in ways which would have been unimaginable a generation or two ago.” 

“It’s been a great privilege and pleasure for me to share this celebration with you. May the ministry which flows from this building grow and prosper in the years to come.”

Saint Mary’s, which was gifted to the Church by Donal Mor O’Brien the last King of Thomond, has been a site of Christian worship since 1168.