5 December – Civic Reception for Waterford City Council


Deputy Mayor and other members of the City Council,

I thank you for your decision to come here today to welcome me to your historic and beautiful city of Waterford.  I appreciate that very much.  I realise you welcome me as the Successor to St Patrick.

I was last here for the funeral of the late Bishop Michael Russell.  Your present Bishop, Bishop Willie Lee, is my good friend – as Secretary of the Episcopal Conference – we sit side by side at the Conference table in Maynooth. 

Your Parish Priest, Father Seán Melody, was Director of Veritas when I was first appointed Bishop and I found him immensely helpful in that position.  So, when he invited me to join you for this Jubilee, I simply could not refuse.

Even though I have not visited Waterford often, I feel I owe a great deal to one very famous son of Waterford.  His name was Luke Wadding.  On the 14 April 1577, the President of Munster, Sir William Drury wrote to the Secretary of State  Walsingham,as follows:

“There are a great number of students of this City (Waterford) in Louvain at the charge of their friends and fathers.  By whom the proud and undutiful inhabitants of this town are so cankered in Popery…that they fear neither God nor man, and hath their altars, painted images, and candlesticks, in derision of the Gospel, every day in their synagogues…Masses infinite they have in their several churches every morning, without any fear”

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