The Vatican wrote to the Diocese of Cloyne inviting it to nominate a boy and girl to travel to Rome for the Confirmation, which will be part of its celebrations for the Year of Faith.
Bishop William Crean decided that, as he was also PP in Fermoy and Cobh, he would carry out a draw among altar servers in both towns. The lucky winners, both aged 12, were Emily Mulcahy from College Manor, Cobh, and Edmond Roche, Baile Árd, Fermoy.
Edmond said he was excited. “I’m really looking forward to it and I know it’s unique. I have been swotting up on the Pope to find out as much as I can about him,” said the Gaelscoil de hÍde pupil.
Like Emily, he will be in Rome for three days and says he wants to see sights such as the Colosseum.
Edmond’s mother, Bernadette, said she “cried tears of joy” when she heard the news. She will be accompanying him, along with his older brother, David, 15, and Edmond’s grandmother and uncle, who are his godparents.
Edmond was supposed to be confirmed along with 140 children in Fermoy yesterday.
“Bishop Crean gave him a special blessing instead and the whole congregation applauded Edmond,” his mother said.
Emily, a pupil at St Mary’s NS, Cobh, said her “shock at the news was very quickly replaced with delight”.
Her class received their Confirmation in the Cobh Cathedral on Saturday, Apr 13, when she received a special blessing from Bishop Crean. She will be accompanied on her trip to Rome by parents Paul and Margaret, her sister Sophie, 10, and her twin brothers Andrew and Luke, 7.
Bishop Crean said it’s a fantastic opportunity for Emily and Edmond to be confirmed by the new Holy Father.
“Personally, I am delighted they will be confirmed by Pope Francis, who is making such a wonderful impression on the world.
“It is a great honour for the Diocese of Cloyne to be invited to take part in this special ceremony,” he said.