Dear Friends in Christ The celebration to mark the Bicentenary of the opening and dedication of the Church of the Immaculate Conception is a moment of joy and thanksgiving for all, in the words of Psalm 118:
“ This is a day that the Lord has made; we rejoice and are glad.”
Some years ago we celebrated in the Church a Year of Faith. Pope Benedict XVI, in his letter proclaiming the Year, wrote about each baptised person “crossing over the threshold” of the Door of Faith into new life in Jesus Christ. Over the years since this church was dedicated, it is the Lord alone who knows the number of people who have crossed over its threshold to pray, to reflect, to bring their cares and worries and above all to express and to deepen their faith through the sacramental life of the Church.
Generations of local people - your family members, friends and neighbours – have come to this sacred place to worship God. The rich faith and cultural heritage that has been handed down from the earliest monastic communities has been fused into the very fabric of our lives as a people. The parish can be rightly proud of the tradition of faith that is here, and extends back to the earliest times of Christianity in our country.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception has been the place of many milestones for a multitude of people gathered here today and for their families before them. For this we praise and thank God.
This celebration marks an important moment in the faith journey of the parish of Boherlahan and Dualla. I ask God’s blessing on all who gather in thanksgiving here today. May we continue to witness to the Risen Lord in our daily lives as generations of the people of our parish have done before us.
With every good wish and blessing,
Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly.