Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

Parish priest touched by warm welcome

Father Hugh Kennedy, left, is congratulated by the Bishop of Down & Connor Patrick Walsh at the Mass of his Installation as Parish Priest of the Parish of Blaris at St Patrick's Church in Lisburn US40-455CL



Parishioners, politicians, clergy, family and friends gathered recently at St Patrick's Church to welcome Father Hugh Kennedy to the Parish of Blaris.

His installation as Parish Priest was performed by the Bishop of Down and Connor, the Most Reverend Patrick Walsh.

Civic representatives, the city's Deputy Mayor Councillor Trevor Lunn, representatives from neighbouring churches, family and friends were all delighted to welcome Father Kennedy to the Parish, and he in return was touched by the welcome he received.

The processional hymn was 'Be Thou my Vision' and readings were taken from Philippians, Psalms and the Gospel of Luke.

Father Hugh Kennedy, left, with Bishop Patrick Walsh and Father Eamonn Magorrian, right, during the Mass for his installation as Parish Priest of the Parish of Blaris in St Patrick's Church in Lisburn US40-456CL Bishop Walsh gave the homily and the profession of faith was affirmed by Father Kennedy.

Following the communion the recessional hymn 'Holy God we praise thy name' rang out as the procession left the church.

Speaking after his installation, Father Kennedy said he was deeply touched by the service and delighted by the welcome he has received in Lisburn.

"I found it very touching and very, very moving," said Father Kennedy. "There was a large number of people there and it was very nice.

"The Bishop spoke very encouragingly and the atmosphere was very friendly.

"It was lovely to have fellow priests and representatives of other churches present, as well as civic representatives for the whole of the Lisburn community."

Father Kennedy has been enjoying his first few weeks as Parish Priest and is looking forward to the times ahead.

"I have been challenged and encouraged by the experience in Lisburn and I am enjoying it immensely," he said. "I am very much enjoying getting to know everyone in the Parish.

"I have been encouraged by the warm welcome I have had and I am absolutely looking forward to everything that is to come. I feel very supported by t h e parishioners and by the different people I have met in Lisburn, fellow clergy in particular."