Gearoid Walshe and myself studied together in Killarney, Maynooth and Rome.
Now the Parish Priest in Castletownbere, we don’t meet as often as we should but he has been such a support to me over the last year. We met on Monday and had time to realise that our past is a different country! I missed the reunion of our Leaving Cert class of ’75 last September.
“Things being various” as TS Eliot would say!
Back then, 12 men went forward to study for the priesthood in the Diocese of Kerry. Over 20 went to study for all of Ireland this last year. There is mathematical certainty that in 10 years priests will be a small group of aged men. Priestless parishes, organised religion banished to private places-this is heralding some greater transformation. What have we bourne witness to, we asked ourselves? We are alive for reasons other than production and consumption. In an instant world of cyber communication that feels alien to us we were sensing that the best things we have come to know are discovered slowly.
“If we trust our need for silence, solitude real presence, we realise we are “prophets of a future not our own”. Or are we old tired men who have the gift of patience, leaving it to God? This is all that’s bothering us when we meet on a January day (!) – not true. But in honest conversation, real presence, a richness emerges that sustains a lot longer than television.
Breda spotted this rainbow outside Killarney Cathedral.