BY KIERAN O’MAHONY
IT’S not very often you get a bishop coming to your home to celebrate mass.
However, John Joe and Kathleen Crowley from Lackanashinagh near Enniskeane had that privilege last week when the Bishop of Cork and Ross, Most Rev Fintan Gavin, celebrated their ‘station mass’, much to the surprise of their friends and neighbours.
In was the Dublin-born bishop’s first experience of a ‘station’ and was also the first time a bishop celebrated a station mass in the diocese.
The station mass has been a tradition of certain rural Catholic parishes for centuries and is still strong in Cork.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Enniskeane parish priest Fr Tom Hayes said that it was during the course of a casual conversation he had with Bishop Gavin about stations that his interest was piqued.
‘He said he had never been to one but would like to. So I sent him a list of upcoming ones and having checked his schedule, he confirmed that he could attend Crowley’s,’ said Fr Hayes.
‘I told Kathleen a few days beforehand and she was surprised alright and told her family but didn’t tell the station people. Bishop Gavin was the principal celebrant and it was of course a surprise for all their friends and neighbours when they arrived to see him.’
Fr Hayes said that Bishop Gavin – who was only ordained as Bishop of Cork and Ross last June and was making his first visit to Enniskeane parish – really enjoyed the station mass and enjoyed the local choir and found everyone very welcoming.
‘We had great hospitality at the Crowley’s home and of course we had plenty of chat and the customary sing-song where Bishop Gavin sang, and we in turn sang Molly Malone in his honour,’ added Fr Hayes.