“I count myself Lucky and Blessed” – Mary O Flynn Retires







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. 

Fr Noel O’Leary SMA, Wilton House Leader: It has been a privilege to work with Mary. I was very blessed because I came in 1978. Mary is with the SMA is longer than I am…  There  are a number of us here in the room that came here as students and we have known Mary for many years. When we come to Wilton Mary is always been the face we’ve seen….On behalf of all of us SMA’s a very big thank you.”
Tom McHenry: I have been working with Mary since the time she came  (1977) … Mary is a lovely person and we got on fantastically well. I wish her all the best in her retirement and I hope she won’t forget us and call, off and on, to see us.
Fr Gus O’Driscoll SMA: “I have known Mary since the mid-eighties when I came to work in Wilton with the students and I found her to be so diligent, cooperative, very easy to get on with. She was willing to do whatever was requested. I’m also mindful of her personality, her spirituality, she had a great sense of God working in her life.”  
Fr Cormac Breathnach SMA: “Mary has given us an example of selflessness, dedication and devotion to duty far beyond the normal We’ve relied on her so much over the years for so many of our problems which she solved.” 

We leave the final words to Mary herself. 

“I count myself lucky and blessed to have had a job for so many years and I’ve been very happy here and I’ve made many friends among the staff and the community… Wilton and the SMA will always be part of my life and I will keep in touch so you haven’t seen the last of me. So thank you for taking the time to come here this evening. Thanks very much.” 



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