Father Ed Hone has announced his departure after eight years in Luxembourg; he will be succeeded by Father Michael Cusack at the helm of the International English-Speaking Community of the Parish of Luxembourg Notre Dame.
At the end of September, Fr. Ed Hone will be leaving Luxembourg to take up the position of Dean at St Edmund's College, Cambridge.
He arrived in Luxembourg in September 2012. Shortly after his arrival, the English-speaking community was faced with the challenge of relocating from the church in Hollerich after 30 years, and after some weeks of searching, they found a home at St Alphonse, in the centre of Luxembourg.
"From that moment our community began to expand: from a base of around 250 church-attenders each week, by the beginning of 2020 were were more than 850 each weekend", explained Fr. Ed Hone. "Of course, the recent health crisis has put expansion on hold. Most of the other challenges we have faced have been due to growing pains: how can a rapidly expanding community organise to cope with ongoing growth. The answer came from the community itself — tapping in to the energy, experience, enthusiasm and abilities of parishioners took the parish to a new level". In addition to the parish council, the community organised sub-committees for liturgy, finance, safeguarding, catechesis (faith-formation), social life, legal compliance and social justice.
This international and multicultural community is made up of members from over 60 countries, "united by our Catholic faith and the English language: it is a constant challenge to be as inclusive as we can in every sense; but the composition of our community is a perfect fit for Luxembourg, which welcomes so many people from so many places", continued Fr. Ed Hone.
Looking back over the past eight years in Luxembourg, Fr. Ed Hone considered his greatest achievement to "simply letting people get on with building their parish, networking with each other, getting to know each other, and giving permission, as it were, to become even more of a community with faith at it's heart". He concluded: "I am so proud of the hundreds of people that have given so generously of their time and effort to make our community what it is today".
The Cardinal has appointed as his replacement Fr. Michael Cusack, who, like his predecessor, is a member of the Redemptorist Order from the Irish Province. 55-year-old Fr. Michael Cusack most recently served for fourteen years as Superior and parish priest of St Joseph's, Dundalk, and is well known publicly for his energy and creativity; he is hoping to arrive in mid-October, to work alongside assistant priest Fr. HP Guillot SJ.