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Ireland: Dublin

The Byzantine Catholic Community in Dublin

Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) has lived in Dublin since 1986. In 1992, some friends organized a small choir to sing the Divine Liturgy in observance of Father Serge's silver anniversary of Ordination; Bishop Basil (Losten) of Stamford, USA, and Bishop Vsevolod of Scopelos were among those present. This celebration proved to be the beginning of what became for several years a small community of Irish Catholic enthusiasts, who enjoyed singing the Divine Liturgy and organizing assistance for the Church in Greece, Ukraine, Romania and Constantinople.

In the autumn of 1998, the Archdiocese of Dublin became aware that the number of Byzantine Catholics in Dublin was increasing, because of demographic changes (for the first time in nearly two thousand years, Ireland is attracting immigrants), and invited Father Serge to begin having his regular Sunday Divine Liturgy in Saint Kevin's Oratory at the Pro-Cathedral, in an effort to seek out the newly-arrived Byzantine Catholics and offer them liturgical and pastoral service.

By Pascha of 1999, several of the faithful from the former Soviet Union discovered this community, and numbers began to rise. The community now includes the original Irish faithful, plus faithful from Russia, Belarus', Ukraine (both Western Ukraine and Donbas), Moldova, Latvia, the USA and elsewhere.

Regularly on Sundays there are about fifty people in Church; for Christmas the attendance was over 75 people. All this involves a number of languages. His Holiness Patriarch Maximos V has given the Patriarchal Blessing to an Irish translation of the Divine Liturgy, accomplished by several of the parishioners who have fluent Irish. Divine Services are apt to include a flexible mix of Church-Slavonic, Greek, Irish and other languages as needed.

Liturgically the community follows a rather strict Slavonic usage, and follows the Julian Calendar (amongst other reasons for retaining the Julian Calendar, the Dublin bus service shuts down on 24 and 25 December — since the faithful are scattered all over the Dublin metropolitan area and beyond, attempting to celebrate new-calendar Christmas would be out of the question)

Prayers are requested that the community may find a suitable chapel or small church for our exclusive use, so that the furnishings of a Byzantine altar may be fully and permanently installed.

Sunday Divine Liturgy is at 4:00 PM (unless there is a Baptism); on Holy Days the Divine Liturgy is normally at 11:00 AM. When there is a a Baptism, the Baptism is celebrated together with the Sunday Divine Liturgy, at 3:30 PM.

Byzantine Chapel at St. Kevin's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin

Divine Liturgy at Byzantine Chapel, St Kevin's, Dublin

Fr Serge censing during Divine Liturgy at St Kevin's Dublin

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Last modified on Sunday October 31, 2004 at 1:45 AM EDT