Bishop Michael Smith celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation for five members of the Irish community in Paris on Sunday 25 June 2017.

The candidates for Confirmation were prepared by Fr Dwayne Gavin, a priest of the Diocese of Meath, whose ministry in Paris began in September 2013 and comes to an end this summer. He will be succeeded by Mons. Hugh Connolly, formerly President of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

During the ceremony, Bishop Smith paid tribute to the faith and pastoral life of the Irish community in Paris, where terrorism and fear have been a particular reality in recent years.

Speaking afterwards, Fr Gavin described the work of chaplaincy in France. “It has been a great blessing to serve the Irish community in Paris for the past four years” he said. “There is a thriving faith community here, comprising young families, students, academics and long standing Irish residents of Paris and the surrounding area. We also regularly welcome Irish people visiting Paris for work or holiday purposes.

“The work of the Irish chaplaincy includes the celebration of the Eucharist, preparation for the Sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation and Marriage, pastoral visits to Irish people in prison and in hospitals and the accompaniment of those bereaved while in Paris.”

Earlier in the week, Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason hosted a reception at the Irish Embassy to France in honour of Bishop Michael Smith and his companions, Fr William Coleman (Parish Priest of Rochfortbridge, Co. Westmeath) and Fr Brendan Ludlow (Meath Diocesan Education Secretary).

Photo above: Bishop Smith and Fr Dwayne Gavin with Confirmation candidates Grace Alexander, Andre Gillotin, Samir Amriou, David Audebert and Evelyn Delaney.