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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Irish Guild of the Church

Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise (Irish Guild of the Church of Ireland) has announced the appointment of Dr Rita Kelly as Irish Language Development Officer for the Cumann.  Many people will already know her and her work as she is an acclaimed and well–established poet and writer in both Irish & English. For 50 years or so, she has been involved in many Irish language developments and activities, both culturally and literary.  These involvements mean that she has travelled to all corners of Ireland, making friends as she went, connecting and reconnecting with many common threads.

She is a native of East Galway but now lives in Birr, Co Offaly.  It is an ideal location for travelling to all corners of the country – in this position of Development Officer, she will be working with the Church of Ireland community of the entire country, North and South, to promote the use of Irish. Rita is active in the Birr group of parishes.  In 2022 she was commissioned as a Parish Reader, and she is a member of the Select Vestry.

This new position allows Rita to bring people together, to connect people to each other, people who speak wonderful Irish, people who are members of the Church of Ireland since childhood but don’t often get the opportunity to use it or the opportunity to worship in Irish.

Rita joins with the Cumann Gaelach in acknowledging the great work done by her predecessor, Caroline Nolan, who was first appointed in 2011.

The Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise was founded in 1914 to promote the spirit and the mentality of the ancient Celtic Church and to unite all those within the Church who value that aspect of their heritage; to promote the use of Irish within the Church; to collect from Irish sources, hymns and suitable devotional literature; and to encourage the use of Irish art and music within the Church.

The Cumann organizes and supports regular church services, in different places, from time to time, throughout the country – for example on St Brigid’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, certain feasts and festivals.  The Cumann supports services in Irish in Christ Church cathedral, in St Patrick’s cathedral Dublin, St Fin Barre’s cathedral, Cork,  and Christ Church cathedral, Waterford.  Now, after the pandemic, the Cumann hopes to give the same support to parishes throughout the country in the provision of Services through Irish.

This position of Development Officer is funded by Foras na Gaeilge. Rita hopes that people will contact her (gaeleaglais22@gmail.com and 087 6728974) to seek whatever help she or the Cumann can provide to support them in the promotion of the use of Irish within the Church of Ireland community.

Tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at 3.30pm the new Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory, the Rt Revd Adrian Wilkinson will be enthroned in St Carthage’s cathedral, Lismore, where the Dean is the Very Revd Paul Draper.

The Dublin Council of Churches with its 14 member churches, together with the Dean and Staff of Christ Church cathedral, extends a warm invitation to all to its opening service for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Christ Church on Wednesday at 8pm. This year’s theme, ‘Be–longing: Praying for Unity amidst Injustice’, was chosen by the Council of Churches in Minnesota in response to systemic racism as witnessed in the brutal killing of George Floyd in May 2020. The preacher at this year’s service will be Canon Fr. Paul O’Driscoll, Roman Catholic Chaplain to the Travelling Community.

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times

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