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Congratulatons Fr. Leo

 

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 You can read Fr. Leo's homily at the end of the photos.

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The Beautiful Hands of a Priest.

We need them in life's early morning,
We need them again at its close;
We feel their warm clasp of true friendship,
We seek it while tasting life's woes.

When we come to this world we are sinful,
The greatest as well as the least.
And the hands that make us pure as angels
Are the beautiful hands of a priest.

At the altar each day we behold them,
And the hands of a king on his throne
Are not equal to them in their greatness
Their dignity stands alone.

For there in the stillness of morning
Ere the sun has emerged from the east,
There God rests between the pure fingers
Of the beautiful hands of a priest.

When we are tempted and wander
To pathways of shame and sin
'Tis the hand of a priest that absolve us.
Not once but again and again.

And when we are taking life's partner
Other hands may prepare us a feast
But the hands that will bless and unite us,
Are the beautiful hands of a priest.

God bless them and keep them all holy,
For the Host which their fingers caress,
What can a poor sinner do better
Than to ask Him who chose them to bless

When the death dews on our lids are falling,
May our courage and strength be increased
By seeing raised o'er us in blessing
The beautiful hands of a priest.

 

 

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(Click on the photo above for full size pdf version)

 

In his homily, Fr. Doyle spoke about being baptised in St. Patrick’s Church, Banbridge as, at that time, Lisnafiffy was part of Banbridge parish. His godparents were the late Joe Murphy and Annie Poland. He went to Bann Primary School at the age of 4 – the same day as his brother John started who was a year older. John was shy so the two boys went together! His teachers were Tom Armstrong and Miss Ring. Tom Armstrong taught the pupils to sing hymns for the Mass in Latin. On Sunday mornings there was only one car at the chapel and that was Frank Doyle’s taxi that took Miss Ring to Mass. Two families came on a pony and trap and they left the animals in the stables in the parochial yard. In those days, people had to fast from midnight in order to receive Holy Communion so it was those who went to the 8.00am Mass who received the Blessed Sacrament. It was too long a fast until the 11.30am Mass. The year of Fr. Leo’s ordination - 1955 - was a completely different word. The parish priest was Canon Doran and there was also a Father Carr and Fr. Lennon. When he was a clerical student he remembers the kindness shown to him by Fr. Frank Treanor. Fr. Frank was marvellous to him and gave him great encouragement. His brother, Canon John Treanor taught him in Violet Hill. He studied for the priesthood in All Hallow’s College in Dublin. Students needed the Greek language and he didn’t like Greek, so he went, with his great friend Fr. Dan McCartan, to All Hallows. Together they went as Missionary Priests to New Zealand.

The changes in the Church are not as spectacular as the changes in the world.

There is a tremendous urgency to pray for vocations – and priesthood is one of the best vocations in life – You’ll never be made redundant; you’ll never be unemployed; you’ll never be rich; you’ll never be poor and you will meet so many amazing people – young and old, good and bad. On the pathway to priestly vocations there are three outstanding milestones:
Silver Jubilee – many priests reach that.
Golden Jubilee – not so many reach that.
Diamond Jubilee – Fr. Leo only know one person to have reached this marvellous milestone.

So many young people no longer come to Mass – whose fault is that? Some blame the teachers, the parents, the schools, the Church. We are ALL to blame.

God has not abandoned his Church – if there is a shortage of priests, it is OUR fault.

The Holy Spirit is not on strike – he had not been fired – he is working away.

Being a priest means endurance, effort and prayer. There are more challenges today for priests, but the Lord is always there. Just think how much Jesus loves us – how much he loves ME.

Mass is a treasure so pray for the grace to appreciate the Mass and keep on giving young people good example by coming to Mass.

 

 Fr Doyle First Mass Large Web view

 Fr Leo Doyle Large Web view

 

 Fr Doyle full size Large Web view

 

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