Father Alec Reid: “The only way you can solve such conflicts is through dialogue between all participants.”
It is with deepest sympathy we learn of the passing of Father Alec Reid, in St Vincent’s Hospital. Dublin, early this morning.
Fr Reid C.Ss.R. was born in 1931 and raised here in Nenagh Co. Tipperary and 29 years later went on to become an Irish priest noted for his facilitator role in the Northern Ireland peace process.
Reid was professed as a Redemptorist in 1950, and ordained a priest seven years later. For the next four years, he gave Parish Missions in Limerick, Dundalk and Galway, before moving to Clonard monastery in Belfast, where he would spend almost the next forty years.
He will be best-remembered by many people as the priest who gave the last rites to two British army Royal Signals Corporals; David Howes and Derek Wood, latter who were partially stripped and killed, having driven into a republican funeral in 1988. Indeed a photograph of his involvement in that same incident became one of the bleakest and most lasting images of this troubles period in our Irish History.
In his effort to bring an end to the difficulties in Northern Ireland, Fr Reid facilitated talks between Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and SDLP leader John Hume and has long been identified as having nurturing the seeds of the as yet uneasy peace we now enjoy on this island.
During his life Fr Reid received the 2008 Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award together with Presbyterian Minister Rev Harold Good. On July4th 2008, Fr Reid was also made an Honorary Graduate of the University of Ulster and made a Doctor of the University (DUniv), in recognition of his contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process. On April 19th 2009, Fr Reid was awarded the Reflections of Hope Award by the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.
Fr Reid, despite being in bad health in more recent years, continued his deep respect for human dignity and quietly made several trips to Spain, in his efforts to broker an end to the violent disputes in the Basque region. In January 2003, he was awarded the Sabino Arana 2002 “World Mirror” prize, by the Sabino Arana Foundation in Bilbao, in recognition of his efforts at promoting peace and reconciliation.
Fr Reid’s earthly remains will now be brought to Clonard Church in Belfast where he will lie in repose on Monday between 4:00pm and 9:00pm and on Tuesday from 9:00am to 9:00pm. An ecumenical service will be held on Tuesday at 7.30pm and Fr Reid will be buried following his funeral mass at Clonard Church on Wednesday next at 12:00pm.
Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.
Fr. Christy O’Dwyer And Alumni Priests Are Honoured In St. Patrick’s College, Thurles
Fr. Christy O’Dwyer and all former student priests were honoured in St. Patrick’s College in a special ceremony held on Tuesday, October 8th last.
Following the annual Student Scholarship and Awards evening a special tribute was paid to Fr. Christy and former student priests.
The East Wing of the College was re-christened as the “Alumni Wing,” and the Student Library is now to be known as “The Fr. Christy O’Dwyer Library.” Two commemorative plaques to mark this occasion were unveiled to those in attendance on the night and patron of the college, His Grace Archbishop Dr Dermot Clifford, blessed both plaques.
The library was renamed in recognition of Fr. Christy’s enormous contribution to the College down through the years. He gave in excess of thirty years of service to the college, 19 years of which was spent working as the College Librarian.
Fr. Fogarty in paying tribute to this “humble and unassuming man,” stated that he knows “with absolute certainty – all alumni would be very pleased to hear that this library will be called after Fr. Christy O’Dwyer. He gave sterling service to the college here for over thirty years.”
On accepting the honour Fr. Christy stated that he was “so taken aback,” on hearing that he was to be honoured in this fashion. “On an occasion such as this, one doesn’t expect to be present at it,” he humorously commented; “you expect to be in a very different place! I am very honoured and very grateful.”
Our gratitude and congratulations go to Fr Christy.
One of Ireland’s longest serving bishops, seventy one year old Dr William Lee, has today (October 1st 2013) confirmed his resignation as bishop of Waterford and Lismore Diocese, due to a serious illness he has been battling for the past two years.
Dr Lee has been bishop of the Waterford /Lismore Diocese for over 20 years and is regarded within the Roman Catholic Church as one of their most accomplished administrators.
Bishop William Lee who was born in Newport, County Tipperary on December 2nd 1941, is the eldest of five children born to John and Delia Lee, latter who ran a public house and auctioneering business in the town. Bishop Lee received his early education at the local Convent of Mercy Boys’ National Schools and later attended Rockwell College. He studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and was ordained in the Diocese of Cashel and Emly on June 19th, 1966.
Bishop Lee later studied canon law at Maynooth, where he received a doctorate in 1969, before serving for two years in the parish of Finglas West, in Dublin. He also studied for a time at the Pontifical Gregorian University, in Rome.
He was later appointed a Professor of Philosophy and the Bursar at St Patrick’s College, here in Thurles and for 15 years was Director of the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council of Cashel Diocese. He also served on the Cork Regional Marriage Tribunal and was the President of St Patrick’s College, Thurles from 1987 to 1993.
Dr Lee was ordained Bishop of the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore on July 25th 1993 and in 1998, was appointed Secretary of the Irish Episcopal Conference.
Today it has been announced that His Holiness Pope Francis I has accepted the resignation of Bishop Lee, due to his ongoing health issues, which it is understood were first diagnosed back in July 2011.
The resignation of Bishop Lee today, will be greeted by priests, religious and people, both in his diocese and here in Thurles, with great sadness.
Dr Lee’s departure will now speed up the total overhaul of the Roman Catholic Church’s diocesan administration here in Ireland, with an estimated eight other dioceses either securing or seeking new bishops.
Thurles send Dr Lee every good wish for the future on his retirement and pray he will return once again to good health.
You will all remember that on Sunday 7th April 2013 last, Michael Walsh and Yvonne Tyler commenced a 2000km pilgrimage on foot, from Holycross Abbey to the Cathedral of St. James in Santiago de Compostella Galicia in Spain, in aid of Rehabcare, Thurles, and Cottage Autism Network, Wexford.
On that day, during 11:00am Mass in Holycross Abbey, celebrated by Fr Celcius Tierney, their walking sticks, passports and pilgrim shells were blessed. Their passports were stamped with the Holycross Abbey stamp; the first of many along the way. At a reception in the Community Hall a large crowd of family, friends and supporters shared a cup of tea with Michael and Yvonne before they set off for Cashel on the first leg of this their epic journey.
Mr John Bourke of Holycross Community Network presented the intrepid travellers with two small pendant, tokens of local admiration for the mammoth task they were about to then undertake. These pendants were carved from oak timber, showing the medieval crest of Holycross Abbey (Latter a simple cross in relief, displayed in two shrines inside the Abbey itself ) and sourced courtesy of Abbey sacristan Mr Pat McGrath, from existing timber used to support the roof of Holycross Abbey.
Visitors Note: This medieval crest can be observed carved on the canopy of the Sedilia, (Set of seats provided in some Roman Catholic and Anglican churches for the use of the presiding clergy), beside the English Royal coat of arms and is also on the shrine called “The Waking Bier,” in the Abbeys south transept, displayed in the hands of a kneeling angel. (Note also: Both this Sedilia and Waking Bier are regarded as rare examples of Cistercian art in Ireland.)
Before setting off Mr Michael Long pointed out that the official date for the foundation of Holycross was 1213 AD and this was also the year when the Camino pilgrimages began to visit the tomb of St. James in Spain and so this year is possibly the 800th anniversary of both religious venues.
Michael and Yvonne have now left one of these pendants at the tomb of St. James and have brought the other back with them. Both Yvonne and Michael thanked their family and friends for their support, and point out that without their help they could never have undertaken the journey.
Walking for over 13 weeks they travelled down the west coast of France and joined the Camino Frances at the foot of the Pyrenees, leaving over 800kms still to walk before they would eventually reach the Cathedral in Santiago.
Events On Arrival In Santiago
Every day in the Cathedral of St James in Santiago, Spain, a Pilgrims Mass is held at noon, it welcomes all Pilgrims who have made the journey to Santiago de Compostella. On the 11th of July 2013, Michael and Yvonne completed their Pilgrimage from Holycross Abbey. At this Mass they both together with 14 friends and family members had the privilege of attending this Mass, as guests of Dom Segundo Perez Lopez, the Dean of the Cathedral.
During the mass Michael and Yvonne presented the Holycross Pendants to Dom Segundo Perez Lopez who blessed both Pendants in the following words;
“At this Mass today we welcome two pilgrims from Ireland, Michael Walsh and Yvonne Tyler. They arrived at this Cathedral today having walked every step of the way from the Abbey of Holy Cross in County Tipperary in Ireland. The abbey of Holy Cross like the Cathedral of Santiago became a place of pilgrimage. Michael and Yvonne have made a long journey of faith. Along the way, in France and in Spain they have been joined by 14 other Irish pilgrims. Today they mark their arrival by offering before the Tomb of Saint James wooden medallions depicting the Cross of Christ our Saviour carved from the original wood of the Abbey at Holy Cross. I accept one on behalf of the Cathedral of Santiago and pray that every grace and blessing is bestowed on these worthy pilgrims. I offer them our thanks and congratulations.”
As stated, one of the pendants will now remain in the Cathedral in Santiago, and on Sunday (Tomorrow) September 29th 2013, the remaining Pendant returns once again to Holycross Abbey, as a mark of Michael and Yvonne’s remarkable journey, thus also rightfully linking both buildings as places of Christian Pilgrimage.
Members of the Church of Ireland Community here in Co Tipperary welcome the appointment of the first female Bishop in Ireland and the UK.
The Rev Pat Storey, rector of St Augustine’s in Derry, latter built on the site of St.Columba’s/Colmcille’s monastery, founded in 546AD, has been elected by the Church of Ireland as the new Bishop for the Diocese of Meath and Kildare.
Married to the Rev Earl Storey and mother of two adult children, Carolyn, 25, and Luke, 22, Rev Storey said she was “both excited, daunted by her historic appointment, yet also sad to leave her wonderful city of Derry. However, I count it an enormous privilege to begin a new phase of my ministry with the people of Meath and Kildare, and I look forward to working with the team of clergy who are already there. I would sincerely ask for your prayers for myself and my family, who are the best in the world.”
Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin, said the appointment brought delight to many across the Church of Ireland and throughout the Anglican Communion.
Mrs Storey, aged 53, studied French and English at Trinity College, Dublin, before training at the Church of Ireland Theological College. She was ordained a deacon in 1997 and a priest later the following year.
Mrs Storey will take over as the new Bishop of Meath and Kildare from Dr Richard Clarke, who was appointed Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland last December.