A man acknowledged

Before closing down I want to acknowledge Philip Corcoran who died earlier today in Letterkenny. Philip was from Lumcloon, Monasteraden and devoted his short life to nursing, latterly as a tutor. A husband and father who loved and was loved in equal measure. A son and brother who never allowed distance of travel keep him from all that was home

For over two years, Philip lived with Motor Neurone Disease as his shadow. It went where he went and gradually consumed much of his freedom. He seemed okay with that and gave great witness and example. There’s no denying his courage and determination. Neither is there any denying his Faith.

I had a the good fortune and privilege of visiting Philip and his family a few times over the past number of months. Always I came away with a sense of being humbled by his ability, willingness and desire to communicate.

I had put a few words about Philip in an earlier post – though I did not name him. His name deserves more than just a mention now. It deserves acknowledgement.

Philip, I acknowledge you tonight. Earlier I told a priest friend, who had met Philip with me, the news of his death. The reply was instant: “What a reward must have been waiting for him?”

I remember now his family – wife and daughters, his mother, brother and sisters, his nephews, nieces and many friends. May his Eternal Rest be the source of your sought after peace.

Philip, rest in peace.

Click here for homily at Philip’s Mass


Here’s a piece from that earlier post ….

On Monday of this week, I visited with a friend from home who now lives in Donegal. Two years ago he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and though, adamant in his conviction that he is, “not SICK”, he lives each day with this condition. It was one of the most humbling experiences I have had in a long time. I sat beside him while he wrote his words and thoughts on a little white board. He erased the words but the thoughts and their message remain. The little board he used was, he told me, bought in a local shop in Ballaghaderreen. I thought afterwards that I’ve most likely walked past that little board so many times in search of other things. It would not even attract my attention. Now it is a central part of his daily communication. How easily we can miss the important things or fail to see their potential to be important. He spoke to me of his condition and his awareness of his journey. He spoke volumes and though, as I said, the words were quickly erased, their memory lingers.

He spoke to me – like the Jesus of today’s Gospel passage – with authority, authenticity because he totally knew what he was talking about and where he was talking from.


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