Canon William Crean was Ordained the 67th Bishop of Cloyne at St Colman's Cathedral, Cobh on Sunday, 27 January. The Principal Ordaining Bishop was Archbishop Charles Brown, Papal Nuncio to Ireland, assisted by the Archbishop of Cashel & Emly, Most Reverend Dermot Clifford DD and the Bishop of Kerry, Most Reverend William Murphy DD.
His Eminence Sean Cardinal Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland presided at the Mass, and concelebrants included the Archbishop of Tuam, Archbishop Michael Neary, many other members of the Hierarchy, some 90 priests from the Diocese of Cloyne and a large number of priests from the new Bishop's native Diocese of Kerry. Classmates of Bishop Crean, including Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor, also concelebrated the Mass.
Members of Bishop Crean's family, including his seven brothers and sisters, were in St Colman's for the Ordination.
The official document from Pope Benedict XVI appointing Bishop Crean was read by Monsignor Eamonn Goold PP VF, Midleton. The first reading was read by Colm Drinan, Carrigtwohill and the second reading was read by Maire Ui Laoire, Cill na Marta. The Psalmist was Eileen Plummer, a member of the Cobh Cathedral Choir. The Gospel was proclaimed by Father Damien Lynch, CC Fermoy, who was ordained to the priesthood last June. Offertory gifts were brought forward by children from the five Cobh parish schools.
The choir was made up of the Cobh Cathedral Choir and St Colman's Chamber Choir. Director of Music was Mr Dominic Finn. The organist was Mr Adrian Gebruers, who is also the Cathedral Carilloneur, and played the Carillon as the procession left the Cathedral at the end of the ceremony.
Representatives of other Christian Churches who greeted the new bishop included the Right Reverend Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Church of Ireland; the Reverend Colin Milligan, the Methodist Church of Ireland; the Reverend William Montgomery, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the Reverend Jim Stephens, Parish of Kilcolman in the Church of Ireland Diocese of Ardfert & Aghadoe.
The President and the Taoiseach were represented by their Aides de Camp. The attendance included the Mayor of Cobh, Sinead Sheppard, the Cork County, Mayor Barbara Murray, David Stanton TD, Michael Ahern, former TD, representing Mr Micheal Martin, Fianna Fail leader, Sean Kelly MEP, Cobh Junior Mayor Niamh O'Connor, and members of Cobh Town Council.
Captain Hugh Tully represented Commodore Mark Mellett, head of the Irish Navy. The attendance included Garda Superintendent Pat Lehane, John Mulvihill MCC, Seán O'Connor MCC and people representing every parish in the diocese.
During his address, after thanking all present, and all who have supported him in his vocation, Bishop Crean spoke of the motto he has chosen: "Croí le brí Nua - heart with a new vitality" to represent the new start for the diocese.
He said: "As we move forward we bring with us the long and deeply rooted Christian Heritage of this ancient See of Cloyne. Regardless of your view of history St. Colman has set down deep roots - which will not be easily uprooted. Tá an creideamh préamhaithe go domhain agus go daingean san doeise seo.
"'The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me'. We borrow these words from the lips of Jesus and make them our own today. Our mission is the same as that of Jesus - to ensure that the vulnerable are cared for.
"Few doubt that there is an air of desolation across the land. So much and so many things combine to dampen if not indeed crush the spirits of many. The discipline and demands of the "Troika" weigh heavily on us. Jesus was critical of those who placed excessive burdens on peoples' shoulders. Is it not time that major financial institutions do more of the heavy lifting? - the people have done their share.
"Beneath these economic woes there are issues of the spirit that need more of our attention. Our souls cry out for "calm from the storm". Anxiety and depression reign in the hearts of so many. Family relationships are strained to the limit as they try to cope. Despite these challenges we journey in hope and with resilience. This year we celebrate a Year of Faith to mark 50 years since Vatican II which gave us a renewed vision of the Church's mission in the world.
"My friends when I speak of heart and the aspiration for a new vitality I speak not just of the Church but Society too. To nurture that spirit calls for a new positive engagement in public discourse. Cynicism serves no one and resolves nothing.
"There are those who believe that the mission of the Church belongs to history. I say it was never so relevant and contemporary in its wisdom and insight. The Church is duty bound to engage positively in the public discourse. I believe we can and will be a leaven in that dialogue. Change is a constant reality. The question for all is "Can we bring with us the vigour and truth of the Gospel as we together seek to rebuild the nation for a new generation?"
Following the ceremony Bishop Crean attended a reception for the faithful of the Diocese of Cloyne in the Great Island Community Centre where he received a very warm welcome and many congratulations.
Life and ministry of Bishop Crean
William Crean was born in Tralee on 16 December 1951, the son of the late Patrick and Margaret Crean (née O'Donnell). His primary and secondary education was in Tralee and later in Saint Brendan's College, Killarney. As one whose family numbered several vocations to priesthood and the religious life, he too heard the call to the priesthood.
Having completed his BA in Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth, he became a student at the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, while completing his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University and he went on to obtain his Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1977.
He was ordained to the priesthood on the 20 June 1976 for service in the Diocese of Kerry. There followed several pastoral appointments in Canon Crean's native diocese. Whether as catechist/chaplain in Killorglin (1977-1980), chaplain in Tarbert Comprehensive School (1983-1986), or Director of Blessed John Paul II Pastoral Centre in Killarney with further duties as Diocesan Advisor to Post-Primary Schools and Director of Adult Religious Education (1987-1996), Canon Crean's apostolate centred strongly on the transmission of the faith in an educational setting.
During those years, Canon Crean also found time to study for a Diploma in Religious Education at Mount Oliver Institute of Education in Dundalk (1987) and undertake Sabbatical Studies at Weston School of Theology in Boston (1998-1999). He also became the Founder Director of Radio Kerry (Director 1990-2012), representing Ardfert Christian Media Trust, a joint shareholding by the Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland.
He served as well for two years as Chairperson of ARENA (Adult Religious Education National Association). Canon Crean's experience has been enriched by his pastoral assignments. Following curacy duties in Glenbeigh (1980-1983) and Killorglin (1996-1998), he has served as Parish Priest in Castlegregory/Cloghane (1999-2006) and in Cahersiveen from 2006 to the present day. He was on the national executive of the National Conference of Priests of Ireland for three years in the 1980s. Well rooted in the spiritual heritage of his native Kerry, he is committed to dialogue between faith and modern culture.
For more information see: www.cloynediocese.ie
Source: Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth