Fr Brendan Leahy will be ordained Bishop of Limerick at a ceremony in St. John’s Cathedral on Sunday afternoon. Up to 1,500 people will attend Fr Leahy’s ordination, which begins at 3p.m. with all guests to be seated by 2.30p.m.   Chief Celebrant will be Arch-bishop Dermot Clifford of Cashel and Emly, and his co-consecrators will include the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown and Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.  Up to 15 bishops and over 200 priests will also attend the ordination, along with representatives of parishes across the diocese, and friends and family of Fr. Leahy, including his 91 year-old father Maurice.

Speaking at a media briefing in Limerick ahead of his ordination on Sunday, Fr Leahy said that the church must take on board all it has learned over the past 20 years or more and begin recon-necting with the community about the Gospel and its message.

“As a Church we have spent many years in a listening period.  That has been important and we now need to go forward in the light of what we have learned and implement the changes that will make the church community more alive. We need to recon-nect with the message of the Gospel but how we do that is also very important. It cannot just be from the pulpit; we need to communicate across all platforms, across the traditional media, across social media. The important thing is that the church becomes the conversation and the dialogue,” Fr. Leahy said.

Fr Leahy said that as he prepares for Sunday’s ordination, he has already taken inspiration from the early days of Pope Francis’ pontificate. “It has been such a delight to see and hear Pope Francis.  For me personally he is emphas-ising many things that are important in my own heart and mind.”

Fr Leahy said he is very much looking forward to his ordination on Sunday at St. John’s Cathedral.  “I have spent the past three months, since I was asked by the Holy See to take on this role, getting to know the priests and indeed people of this diocese.  The more time I have spent here, the more I have been humbled by the welcome and kindness shown to me.”