Bishop Michael Smith presented a gift to the newly consecrated Cathedral in Longford on behalf of the Diocese of Meath.

The silver sanctuary lamp, which stands beside the tabernacle in St Mel’s Cathedral, was presented to Bishop Francis Duffy at Christmas time.

Both the tabernacle and sanctuary lamp were designed by Imogen Stuart and silversmith Vicki Donovan, who recently completed a major commission for the Church of Saint Geneviève in New Orleans.

St Mel’s Cathedral was devastated five years ago when fire destroyed the interior of the building, most of its furnishings and fittings.

The gift from the Diocese of Meath is a symbol of solidarity between the dioceses in the midlands.  “The determination of the bishops, priests and people in the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois to restore St Mel’s Cathedral is a source of encouragement and a sign of faith in the community”, Bishop Smith explained.  “The sanctuary lamp is an invitation to prayer and a call to reverence the Blessed Sacrament, which is at the very heart of the Church”.