June 4th is the Anniversary of my ordination. As I look back to a Sunday in June many years ago when a group of twelve walked from the College to the local Church St Mary’s Kilamoate Co Wicklow. Eleven of us were ordained that morning. One was ordained later. We used the local church because the college chapel was too small. There are many memories. At that time all of my uncles and Aunts were still alive. I still had one great Uncle. At the time of writing my last Aunt is dying. That September I set out for Kenya for my first Missionary appointment. On setting out on the journey I had thought that I would, like so many before me spend all of my life there. Man proposes and God and Society leaders had other plans. Now I look back and I marvel.
I have lots of reasons to be thankful. I am thankful for my parents and family for allowing me to set out on this journey. I am thankful for the priests I worked with and the places I served. I am grateful for those who put their trust in me in the various appointments I have had.
Above all I have a great affection and respect for the people I met along the way. Each and every one helped create the person I am today. When I have regrets its about the things I should have or could have done to help the gospel or the times when I lost my cool.
Like all faith and life journeys, they don’t just happen, there are moments of doubt and of struggle, but there are also great moments of joy and fulfillment. The relationship with God has to be worked on as does the relationship with people. You must listen and discern. There has to be a balance in life: time to pray, time to work, time for recreation.
As I remember this weekend I will pray for the classmate who died of cancer a few years ago and for the three who no longer journey with us in priesthood and for the rest of us the other eight who serve in differing parts of the world, for our families living and deceased and for the people we have served in various ministries and yes I ask the Lord for young men to be open to the possibilities of serving as priest in this diocese or in other parts of the world.
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.