An event to mark the retirement of Mary O’Flynn, who began work with the SMA on the 3rd of October 1977, took place on the 6th of June 2023. That is almost 46 years or, as she said during her address to the gathering, “two-thirds of my life.”
Mary has always been the first person that those contacting or visiting SMA House, Wilton, spoke with or met when they called or arrived. She was responsible for the smooth running of the Reception Office and many aspects of the House administration that helped both the work of other staff and the lives of SMA’s living in the house community.
Many of the staff and SMA priests who worked with Mary down through the years joined in the celebration. Indeed, her association and involvement with the SMA began long before most of those who were present, including some of the SMA Fathers who first met Mary when they arrived as students to St Joseph’s College Wilton, the place where they began their journey towards the missionary priesthood. Mary’s constant presence and her contribution to the work and life of the SMA, especially the community in Wilton, is greatly appreciated and her knowhow and knowledge will be greatly missed – a fact reflected in the comment made by Fr Noel O’Leary, the Wilton House Leader, when he asked Mary to keep her phone nearby as she can, into the future, expect many phone calls asking her how to solve this problem or that problem and to share the knowledge accumulated over decades. Below are some of the comments made by those at the event.