I was ordained, as many of you know, on June 14th 1987. The Ordination was in my home parish of Gurteen and Bishop Flynn ordained me. On Sunday next I will celebrate Mass in Kilmovee Parish Church at 2.30pm. It is to be a Mass of Thanksgiving – not just for a Silver Jubilee – but for all that have made those years possible. Friends and neighbours from home as well as parishioners from Carracastle (Rooskey), Collooney (Ballinacarrow), Ballaghaderreen (Monasteraden, Brusna and Derrinacartha), Kilmovee, (Kilkelly, Urlaur and Glann) are all welcome to come along. You, in many ways, are the people that have been my priesthood. Your stories became mine and something of mine, I’d hope, became yours. Equally family and friends and all that have a part to play in my life are welcome to come along.
We will remember too those many “absent friends” who shared that day and the years since, among them my parents Bill and Mary, my uncles John and Jimmy as well as my uncle Joe and aunt Nora (who died when I was in Maynooth) and my uncle Thomas who died many years ago. We will remember these and all who have walked the road with us. The Eucharistic Congress, which begins this Sunday, has the theme “In Communion with God and one another” and that is as good a starting point as any for us.