During his ordination as bishop yesterday in Waterford, Canon Alphonsus Cullinan, or Fr Phoncie as he was called during the ceremony, called for prayers to promote vocations to the Church.
“I am convinced that there are many more who, with the right encouragement, can be helped to make life commitments in the Church, whether that be to marriage, religious life, the permanent diaconate, or the priesthood,” he said.
Later, Bishop Cullinan added that he would like to personally drive new vocations.
“I’ve got to go out and ask ‘would you consider a vocation to the priesthood or religious life?’ and we’ll see who will respond and I’m sure that the Lord is still asking,” he said.
In his address he said of lapsed Catholics: “We reach out to those who have turned away from the practice of the faith, many of whom are in our own families and parish communities. How can we walk with them in a way that will help them to see once more the beauty of following Jesus?”
From Lahinch, Bishop Cullinan, 55, is a former teacher and ex-member of the Bunratty Castle Entertainers. He spent most of his time as a priest in Limerick.