The feast of St Therese of Lisieux [the Little Flower], Patroness of the Missions, was marked in the Blackrock Road SMA community with a Thanksgiving Mass on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Priestly ordination of three SMA priests – Fathers John Clancy [from Co Clare], Frank Meehan [Mayo] and Paddy McGovern [Cavan].
The Principal Celebrant was the Blackrock Road Community Leader, Fr Eddie O’Connor, who had just taken over from Fr Colum O’Shea, who had served in the position for seven years. Fr John Horgan read the Gospel and preached. Read his homily here.
At a celebratory lunch afterwards tributes were paid to the three Jubilarians by Fr O’Connor and the SMA Provincial Leader, Fr Michael McCabe.
All three had served for many years in different parts of Nigeria and, when requested, took up tasks at home to support the work of those still on the Missions – Fr McGovern as Bursar in Dromantine and Wilton; Fr Meehan in the Promotions Office in Dublin and Fr Clancy as Director of Students in Cloughballymore and, in more recent years, ‘on the road’ collecting Mission boxes.
Fr McCabe also availed of the opportunity to publicly thank Fr Colum O’Shea who had just completed seven years as Community Leader in Blackrock Road. Though expecting to finish his two three-year terms in 2013 he generously agreed to stay on for a further twelve months and is now going to have a Sabbatical break before his next appointment in 2015. All who lived in Blackrock Road during these years know how kind and caring Fr Colum was to all, particularly to the sick and dying. He was a gentle and quiet presence to all.
Fr John Denvir has moved from Dromantine to take up the position of Vice Leader in Blackrock Road. The third member of the Blackrock Road staff is Fr Chris Brennan.