Sunday, August 16th, saw us all in Coolaney, Co. Sligo for the marriage of John Duffy and Maura Conheady.
John is a parishioner here in Ballaghaderreen and the younger brother of one of our diocesan priests. Maura has been one of my best friends since we met in sixth class at primary school in Mullaghroe in 1975-76. She moved, with her family, from Tulla in Co. Clare and her father taught in the Vocational Schools in Gurteen and Ballymote.
We lost contact for a while when I went to St Nathy’s College and Maura to the Convent Boarding School in Swinford. Neither did we see each other when I was in Maynooth and she in Teacher Training College in Dublin. Our paths did cross though, shortly after my ordination when I said Mass in Ballymote one day – filling in for a local priest – and Maura came to see me after Mass. She was with her mother Teresa (R.I.P.). I suppose that was over twenty years ago now and, since then she has been one of my most constant friends.
I had a part to play in John and Maura meeting and I am so glad that their meeting led to yesterday’s gathering in Coolaney. They were both so happy. There was a guest book passed around and I wrote something along the lines that if I have the chance to look back over my life, this day and having a part in making it happen, will certainly be one of the good things I will look back on and take some joy in.
Fr Eugene was the Chief-Celebrant at the Wedding Mass and Fr Pat Holleran, the parish priest in Coolaney and I concelebrated. It was a worthy celebration! Pat Holleran even supplied “roses” of the chocolate kind after Mass. Nobody complained!!