|Archbishop Eamon Martin's Letter|
Archbishop Martin, now Primate of All Ireland, sent this letter to the people of the Archdiocese of Armagh:
Dear people of the Archdiocese of Armagh,
I would like to offer Mass to ask God’s blessing and the protection of Mary at this important milestone for me and for the Archdiocese. The Mass will take place in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh at 7.30 pm on Tuesday, 7 October, the Feast of the Holy Rosary, and everyone is welcome. Following Mass light refreshments will be served in St Patrick’s Grammar School.
It is an honour for me to assume the role of ‘Shepherd’ in the Archdiocese of Armagh. I look forward to serving you, the people of the sixty-one parishes in the counties of Armagh, Derry, Louth and Tyrone. I feel humbled to be following in the footsteps of St Patrick, and like him, I pray for 'God’s strength to pilot me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s shield to protect me'. I am very grateful for the warmth of the support, welcome and prayers, that I have received every day since I came to Armagh, sixteen months ago.
I wish to thank Cardinal Seán for the many years of service which he has given to the Church in Armagh and beyond. On behalf of the people, priests and religious of the Archdiocese of Armagh, I want to thank him sincerely for serving us with love and dedication. We appreciate all that he has done for us and we assure him of our continued affection and prayers. We wish him every blessing for a healthy and peaceful retirement. On a personal note I want to thank Cardinal Seán for the kindness he has shown to me since I came to Armagh last year. I know that I can count on his prayers and support in the years to come.
I was ordained a bishop just a month after the election of Pope Francis. I chose as my episcopal motto: ‘Sing a New Song to the Lord’, because I think we are all being challenged nowadays to find fresh ways of bringing the Gospel into the world. Over the past sixteen months I have been encouraged and inspired by the enthusiasm of our young people and the dedication of our teachers, the commitment and pastoral care given by our priests and religious, and the willingness of so many people to become actively involved in the life of their parishes and diocese.
No doubt many challenges lie ahead of me, but I look forward with trust and hope in God to sharing with others the ‘Joy of the Gospel’.
Again I thank you for your prayers and support and ask you please to continue to pray for me.
Yours sincerely in Jesus Christ,
Archbishop of Armagh