On Sunday 15 August last, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Archbishop Michael Neary celebrated Mass for the dedication of the new altar in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Tuam.
During his homily Archbishop Neary spoke of those who built the Cathedral nearly two hundred years ago. He said, “We recall with gratitude the people who conceived the idea of this Cathedral and built it in the early part of the nineteenth century, and who worshipped here over the past 185 years – the priests and archbishops who served here, preached the Word of God here, celebrated the sacraments here, and built up God’s kingdom from here. We remember the organists and choirs, the sacristans, ushers, cleaners, collectors and flower arrangers, the painters and other skilled tradespeople.”
The Archbishop of Tuam continued, “Our Cathedral Church is a sign of hope in a busy world. The very name of our Cathedral, The Cathedral of the Assumption, is a reminder of hope. Mary’s Assumption into Heaven is a preview of the destiny which awaits us and enables us to cling to God in perplexity and adversity. The Church reminds us that what Mary is we too shall be. Mary is promise fulfilled, humanity completed and faithfulness rewarded.”
Emphasising the importance of the new altar, Archbishop Neary said, “This new altar, which will shortly be anointed, incensed and clothed, will each day be reverenced. This altar symbolises Jesus Christ. To this altar we will together bring our petitions, pledges, prayers and gratitude and from this altar you will be fed by Christ’s Body in the Eucharist. From this altar you will go forth to your family, your study, your work, your social life, to build up God’s kingdom. At His altar we are refreshed, reinvigorated and renewed.”
The Archbishop concluded, “This Cathedral reordered and made beautiful by your exceptional generosity is such a place to pause, to rest by the wayside on our pilgrim path to God. Its doors will be open to all who will respond to Christ’s gentle invitation to come inside and rest awhile. In this pilgrim setting it will welcome the tourist, the school bagged child, the hard-pressed parent, the returned exile, the sinner and the saint. Here we will all experience the warmth, love and hospitality of God. Here we will discover that what God did in the past He can do now, what God has done in the Holy Land, He can do here in Tuam.”
To read the full homily, click here.