GLOWING tributes have been paid to former Dromcollogher-Broadford parish priest, Canon James Ambrose, who is celebrating 50 years in the clergy.
Canon Ambrose, his extended family and a huge crowd from the local community attended a special Mass and reception in Broadford last Friday night to mark the occasion.
Canon Ambrose was ordained in 1962, and spent two decades serving in St John’s parish in the city before he was appointed parish priest of Dromcollogher-Broadford in 1986, a position he held until his retirement last November.
Public representatives, including former mayor of Limerick Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon, attended last Friday’s function at a specially-erected marquee on the grounds of Our Lady of the Snows church in Broadford.
Dromcollogher-Broadford parish priest Fr Frank O’Dea said that the event was a reflection of the warmth with which Canon Ambrose is held in the local community.
“Many people came together, and showed great co-operative, community spirit. People made sandwiches, baked cakes, and helped the night to be a great success.
“I’d like to congratulate him on 50 years of service to the diocese, 25 of those which were in Dromcollogher-Broadford and 20 years in St John’s. We’re delighted that former mayor of Limerick Kieran O’Hanlon came out representing St John’s.”
Fr O’Dea said that while he is no longer parish priest, Canon Ambrose is still an active and vital member of the community. “He is still very active in the parish, and still continues to celebrate christenings and weddings and funerals. He’s a very highly respected man in the parish.”
Local county councillor Jerome Scanlan described Canon Ambrose as a great humanitarian who had proven to be a fantastic guardian for the parish.
“He is held in extremely high esteem. In my own opinion, he is the greatest humanitarian that I have ever known. When he was parish priest, and still today, he did so much on the quiet, and for so many people. In that sense, he truly fulfilled the pastoral role of parish priest.
“He is always there at the right time. He was never intrusive, but he was always present. People hold him in such high regard”.