Commissioning Of Phyllis Grothier As All Ireland President Of The Mothers’ Union And The Commissioning Of The Board Of Trustees
Added on 08/03/2013
On Sunday 3 March 2013 in St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny former Mothers’ Union Diocesan President of Cashel & Ossory Phyllis Grothier was commissioned as All Ireland President. She was supported by her husband George and her family Albert, Noelle, Elaine, Graham and Louise who was in Australia.
Phyllis Grothier was born in Clonegal Co. Wexford and now lives in Fenagh Co. Carlow with her husband George and family. Mothers’ Union membership started in Tullow Branch in 1984 when she was enrolled but attended her first meetings at the age of 7 when she went with her mother and grandmother to the local Branch meetings in Clonegal. Since then has been Branch Leader, Branch Secretary, Young Members representative, Diocesan Vice President and Diocesan President in Cashel and Ossory for the past 6 years.
The service was led by the Bishop of Cashel & Ossory the Rt Revd Michael Burrows and the commissioning of Phyllis and the Board of Trustees was undertaken by the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke.
Also in attendance were the Rt Revd Trevor Williams (Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe), the Very Revd Raymond Ferguson (Chaplain to the MU), the Very Revd Katharine Poulton (Dean of Ossory), the Revd Canon Ian Poulton (Diocesan Chaplain MU) and members of the Cathedral Chapter. Many clergy and diocesan readers were present to support Phyllis as she had herself recently become a diocesan reader.
The Worldwide Mothers’ Union was represented by its President Lynn Tembey. Also present were Lady Eames (former Worldwide President), Ruth Mercer (out–going All Ireland Mothers’ Union President), Anne Barrett, Paddy Wallace and Margaret Crawford (all former All Ireland Presidents) and Mothers’ Union members were present from every diocese including representatives from the Link Diocese of Sodor and Man.
In his address Bishop Burrows took his text from Jacob’s Dream and elaborated on the theme of when taking office not to be afraid of engaging the debate in the ‘public square’ with those who seek law reform. The Mothers’ Union has never been afraid to speak out on behalf of the family in relation to marriage, equal pay for women, the right to work in the public service after marriage, serving on juries and the debate on divorce. All the ‘Jacob’s ladders’ and bridges are needed for coping. When great social change is on the horizon, it is vital to have experienced and compassionate women.
There is nobody better qualified to this task of leadership than Phyllis Grothier. In her diocesan leadership of the MU she has brought honesty, intelligence, compassion, generous judgment and practical wisdom all of which will be relevant to her new task ahead.
The Commissioning then took place. In a very simple moment the former All Ireland President Ruth Mercer presented Phyllis to the Archbishop asking him to commission the new President. He in turn asked Phyllis was she willing to commit to the office and work. She answered affirmatively. The Archbishop then admitted her to the office and the congregation welcomed Phyllis with applause.
Similarly the Archbishop commissioned the Board of Trustees presenting them to the congregation: Hazel Sherlock, Margaret Schutz, Jean Fox, Norma Bell, Mildred Gilmore, Pat Gray, Moira Thom, Kathy Trimby, Joy Gordon, Joy Silcock, Marion Cole, Ina Blackwell, Joy Little, Valerie Ash, Iris Suitor, Patsy Devoy, Maureen Lanigan and Alison Rooke. (Susan Cathcart, Kay Clarke and Margaret Knox were unable to be present).
A reception was held in Kilkenny College where presentations were made by Maureen Lanigan the newly elected Cashel and Ossory Diocesan President and others. Lynne Tembey also spoke and Phyllis replied bringing the proceedings to a climax by cutting the cake made especially in her honour.
Photo L – R: Ruth Mercer (former All Ireland President of the Mothers’ Union), Lynne Tembey (Worldwide President of the Mothers’ Union) The Most Revd Richard Clarke (Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland), Phyllis Grothier (All Ireland President of the Mothers’ Union), George Grothier, the Rt Revd Michael Burrows (Bishop of Cashel & Ossory), the Very Revd Raymond Ferguson (All Ireland Chaplain to the Mothers’ Union), the Very Revd Katharine Poulton (Dean of Ossory) and the Rt Revd Trevor Williams (Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe).
For further information, please contact the Cashel & Ossory Diocesan Communications Officer: