Bishop Michael Smith celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation for five members of the Irish community in Paris. The ceremony took place yesterday, Sunday 25 June, in the chapel of the Irish College in Paris.The candidates for Confirmation were prepared by Father Dwayne Gavin, a priest of the Diocese of Meath, whose ministry in Paris began in September 2013 and comes to an end this summer. Father Gavin will be succeeded on 1 September as chaplain in the Irish College by Monsignor Hugh Connolly, formerly President of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.During the ceremony, Bishop Smith paid tribute to the faith and pastoral life of the Irish community in Paris, where terrorism and fear have been a particular reality in recent years. Speaking afterwards, Father Gavin described the work of chaplaincy in France. Father Gavin said, “It has been a great blessing to serve the Irish community in Paris for the past four years. There is a thriving faith community here, comprising young families, students, academics and long standing Irish residents of Paris and the surrounding area. We also regularly welcome Irish people visiting the city for work or holiday purposes. The work of the Irish chaplaincy includes the celebration of the Eucharist, preparation for the Sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation and Marriage, pastoral visits to Irish people in prison and in hospitals as well as the accompaniment of those bereaved while in Paris.”Earlier in the week, Her Excellency Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason hosted a dinner at the Embassy of Ireland to France in honour of Bishop Smith and his companions, Father William Coleman, Parish Priest of Rochfortbridge, Co Westmeath, and Father Brendan Ludlow who is the Meath diocesan education secretary. (Photographers: Ciaran MacGuill and Mary Raffray)