Over 750 pack into County Limerick church to say goodbye to popular priest

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

Gone but not forgotten: Organisers wish Fr Brendan Kyne, front, the very best in the future after his farewell Mass Picture: Brendan Gleeson

Gone but not forgotten: Organisers wish Fr Brendan Kyne, front, the very best in the future after his farewell Mass Picture: Brendan Gleeson

AHANE’S senior hurling stars Tom and Dan Morrissey have been walking on water this year but Fr Brendan Kyne has been working miracles in the parish for the past 16.

Some 750 packed into Castleconnell church for his farewell Mass in the parish on Wednesday, July 18. Afterwards, over 400 joined with Fr Kyne in the Castle Oaks House Hotel. The huge crowd is a testament to how highly thought of Fr Kyne is. 

All sections of the local community, including a number from the Daughters of Charity in Lisnagry where Fr Kyne regularly visited, came together to say goodbye. Just some of the presentations made were a painting of a local riverbank by Barbara Hartigan, a sculpture of a horse’s head and a number of books.

Fr Kyne said he has “been more blessed in the receiving than in the giving” during his time in the parish.

“I was overwhelmed by their presents, kindness, generosity, and goodness to me over the last 16 years,” said the priest who has been appointed to Ballinacally. Their new parish priest is Fr William Teehan, who is coming from Templederry.

Fr Kyne quoted a scripture reference from Exodus that sums up his time in County Limerick.  

“When the Amaleakite army were beseeching the people, God asked Moses to hold up his arms and as long as his arms stayed up the Amaleakites would not succeed. When Moses’ arms grew weary Aaron and Hur helped Moses to keep his arms in position. I just reminded them that that is what community is all about. We all need the support of one another because all our arms fall at times,” said Fr Kyne.

Rory McDermott, chairman of the parish pastoral council, said for 16 years Fr Kyne has “lived amongst us in our parish”.

“I think it is fair to say that every day of those years he also lived for us, for his priesthood, for God and the Church of Jesus Christ our Saviour.  He has walked with us through our joyous times, our baptisms, our marriages and our small and great triumphs

“He was always there for us in our dark and challenging times. He was with us in our times of pain and sickness and great loss. We remember tonight our dearly departed who knew his kindness and his faith in action. Surely they will have him in their prayers forever,” said Mr McDermott. All partings are sad especially when we are parting from someone we love, he said. 

“However, our gathering tonight also allows us to reflect on our time together with Fr Brendan. He has left us with fond moments and memories we will treasure in our hearts

“When we think of these moments in the days, months and years to come we will surely quietly celebrate having had a very special labourer of our Lord amongst us. We will recall his faith, his kindness and compassion, his commitment and dedication to his flock and the multitude of the tasks and projects he led and undertook with us.

“We will look about us and see his vision and works of improvement and development of our churches and schools and our parochial hall. We will recall his energy in promoting our youth development and sport and social inclusion in our Parish. We will remember his particular devotion to the wonderful people in St Vincent’s, Lisnagry, our special neighbours who will miss him greatly,” said Mr McDermott.

The parish pastoral council chair said they will never forget that smiling face, quick wit, mischievous laugh and always the special words of encouragement, “Shur, we can only do the best we can”.

“On behalf of the people of the parish of Castleconnell, Ahane and Montpelier may God bless and protect you Fr Brendan in your new parish in your beloved County Clare,” said Mr McDermott. But thanks to Barbara Hartigan’s painting he will have a permanent reminder of Castleconnell.

See page 20 of the County edition for more photographs