‘I want to thank you for being the people that you are’ – Archbishop Neary to the people of Tuam
Archbishop Michael Neary delivered his final address as Archbishop of Tuam in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Tuam, at the start of the Mass of Installation for Archbishop Francis Duffy as the new Archbishop of Tuam. This Mass was celebrated on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, 9 January 2022.
Archbishop Neary welcomed the incoming Archbishop on behalf of himself and the people of Tuam. He said, “I reserve the warmest welcome for our new Archbishop. Céad míle, míle fáilte romhat a theachtaire Dé! Francis, this is your day and we are delighted for you; we congratulate you on your appointment, we rejoice with you, we pray for you, and we offer our wholehearted support as you assume your new responsibilities as Metropolitan Archbishop.”
Speaking directly to the people of Tuam, both religious and lay, Archbishop Neary extended a personal word of thanks. He said “If I may be permitted to express my deep personal gratitude to the People of God that is the Church of Tuam, the lay faithful young and old, religious, priests and deacons. I thank you that with over fifty years as a priest, thirty years as a Bishop and twenty-seven years as your Archbishop, you have prayed for me, befriended me, supported and encouraged me.”
The Archbishop Emeritus of Tuam continued, “From the islands off the western seaboard to the island parish of Moore on the eastern boundary, you are the people from whom I have learnt so much. With you I have journeyed, we have prayed together, we have celebrated together, we have dealt with challenges together and, very briefly today, I want to thank you for being the people that you are, for reminding me of the God whom I have been called and chosen to serve. For all of that I want to express my deep gratitude to you. And, because I know you so well, I am confident that your relationship with Archbishop Francis will be characterised by the same warmth, affection and joy.
“Go raibh beannacht Dé oraibh, agus faoi choimirce na Maighdine Muire sibh anois agus í gcónaí.”