A fine speaker ….


I was in Maynooth on Thursday last for a meeting and later in the day I attended a talk given by Archbishop Timothy Dolan – the Archbishop of New York.  It was a talk arranged through Maynooth College to mark the “Year of The Priest”. 

Archbishop Dolan spoke well and convincingly about priesthood.  He spoke about his own joy around being a priest and mentioned that someone once asked what was needed in a priest, to which the reply came “someone who can smile”!  There’s no doubt a smile goes a long way.  I actually upgraded my phone during the week and it has a camera included.  I noticed a little “face” on the settings of the camera and clicked on it.  I then tried to take a photo (of myself since there was nobody else there) but the camera did not work.  I pressed the button several times but nothing happened.  I smiled, thinking this camera was a mistake and then “click”.  A picture (quickly deleted 🙂 ) was taken.  It was then I realised the little face, when selected, meant the camera was looking for a smile before a picture could be taken.  Seemingly even gadgets know the importance of a smile!

Maxmilian Kolbe

Of course there was more to Archbishop Dolan’s talk  – he spoke of the need to have identity as priest and mentioned Maxmilian Kolbe when he volunteered his life in place of another.  The soldier demanded to know who he was.  Archbishop Dolan said he did not say “I am Maxmilian Kolbe”, neither did he say “I am prisoner number 16770” but instead said “I am a Catholic priest”.  It was his identity and calling as priest that made him step forward in the crowd.  This identity in some way meant that he had to respond to a situation.  We search for that awareness of identity – not just as priests – but all of us, so that what we are and what we believe in may shape our lives and give direction to our journey.


On Friday morning, I woke up without the aid of a clock radio.  Woke up, I should say, a bit on the late side.  Looking accusingly at the radio as much as to say “you let me down”, it was in darkness.  I switched on the light but nothing happened.  There was a powercut.  I wondered at what stage of the night did this happen?  I began to think of the church in darkness for Mass, no amplification, no heat (though heat wasn’t really needed) and the possibility of a powerless day.  I wondered was it a planned outage or had something happened during the night.  I tried to remember if there had been a little postcard from ESB, advising that power would be out on Friday May 28th but felt certain they hadn’t bothered to let me know.  Tommy Marren would fill me in on MWR but then realised I’d not hear Tommy Marren since – yeah, the power was gone!  Ah well, we’d manage.  There were others in the area who would be much more affected by this since they’d have families to get ready for the day, meals to prepare and so much to be done …..

I got up and walked around a powerless room.  Half an hour later I came down the stairs and the light was on in my hallway.  Strange!  Then I checked the fuseboard.  The fuse for upstairs had tripped.  Not alone was the problem not nationwide or parish wide – it wasn’t even “house” wide 🙂

Sometimes the problem and its solution is more local than we think ….

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