After the opening hymn, Mgr. Jamie MacNeil, the Administrator of the Cathedral welcomed Bishop Nolan and thanked him for coming. In his homily, delivered from the front of the sanctuary, Bishop Nolan drew the attention of the congregation to the reading from Isaiah – the Spirit of the Lord has been given to me – and he reminded them that the Spirit has been given to each one of those present. Speaking specifically to the priests of the Diocese present, he said that the Spirit had been given to them as priests to preach the Gospel and minister the sacraments, but as time went on they could begin to tire because of pressures, and they could forget that it wasn’t just them but them plus the Spirit. The Spirit enables them to do the wonderful works of God. Amending the famous John F Kennedy quote, he suggested that it should be “ask not what I can do but what God’s Spirit can do in us”. The Spirit is always alive. We like to be in control but the Spirit is not under our control so perhaps we need to allow ourselves to be surprised by the Spirit.
After the Mass. there was the usual warm hospitality from the Cathedral parish community in the Cathedral Hall when there was the opportunity to catch up with friends before heading on the often long drive home.