Bishop Thomas Burns of Menevia was joined by cardinals, bishops and the apostolic nuncio to Britain on Monday as he marked the 25th anniversary of his diocese.
The Mass at the Cathedral Church of St Joseph, Swansea, was also intended to celebrate Bishop Burns’s 40th anniversary as a priest and his 10th as a bishop.
A message from the Pope was read out by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini and the homily was preached by Abbot Paul Stonham OSB of nearby Belmont Abbey. Both Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster, and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, spoke at the end of the Mass. Cardinal O’Brien congratulated Wales as the “nation of the Grand Slam” and indicated that he was speaking on behalf of Scotland, “nation of the wooden spoon”.
He cited the words of St David, Welsh patron saint, quoted by Pope Benedict XVI and addressed to the people of Wales when he was in Britain 18 months ago. These words were simply: “Be joyful, keep the faith and do the little things.”
The cardinal said that the congregation, not only Bishop Burns, but each and every Catholic in Wales, should keep these words of their patron saint often before their mind and see in the practice of their Christian faith a deeply felt joy.