“They have been at the forefront of renewal in the Church, taking bold initiatives, and making significant sacrifices, putting flesh on the hope that was within them,” he said.
“This is not a mission that belongs to the past. In another age, they were at the forefront of addressing the educational, social, and health of those who risked being left behind. Today they continue their prophetic ministry in the service of those whom our society might prefer not to see: those who suffer from addiction, those who struggle to put food on the table, women trafficked, those without a roof over their heads, or a front door of their own.”
Dermot Farrell was born in 1954, the eldest of seven children, in Garthy, Co. Westmeath. After attending seminary at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1980.
He was vice president of St. Patrick’s College from 1993 to 1996 and president from 1996 to 2007. He later served as vicar general of the Diocese of Meath.
Pope Francis named him bishop of Ossory in 2018. He chose the episcopal motto “Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini” (“Our help is in the name of the Lord”), from Psalm 124.
As archbishop of Dublin, he is responsible not only for Catholics in Ireland’s capital city but also in surrounding areas.
Preaching on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Farrell stressed that all Catholics were responsible for the success of the Church’s mission in Dublin archdiocese.
“It is an illusion to envisage a plan of evangelization which is carried out only by clergy while the rest of the faithful are merely onlookers,” he said.
“The mission of the Church, the work of God, is not just the responsibility of a group of professionals; it is the call and responsibility of every baptized person whose active participation in the mission of the Church is to be considered indispensable and necessary. In this light, the active participation of the laity becomes essential.”
“They constitute the vast majority of the people of God. Indeed, as St. John Henry Newman remarked perceptively, ‘The Church would seem foolish without them.’”
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
He continued: “In this light, leadership in the Church is not about telling people what to do; rather it is about promoting co-responsibility and overcoming the mindset which runs the risk of relegating the baptized to a subordinate role, effectively keeping them on the edges of Church life.”
“That is what we mean by a synodal Church -- a church on the way with each other. The very first place synodality is expressed is at parish level. If it doesn’t happen in the parish, it will not happen at all!”