Beloved Limerick priests celebrate 100 years of priesthood between them

Donal O'Regan


Donal O'Regan


Beloved Limerick priests celebrate 100 years of priesthood between them

 Fr Pat Currivan and Fr Roy Donovan enjoyed a ‘perfect evening’ in Caherconlish

TWO priests in the same parish have lived Jesus’ example for 100 years between them.

Fr Pat Currivan celebrated 60 years since he was ordained and Fr Roy Donovan marked four decades in the priesthood on Saturday night.

Fr Currivan has been in Caherconlish / Caherline for 32 years while Fr Donovan arrived 10 years ago. 

A celebration Mass and party afterwards in the Millennium Centre was organised by the parish pastoral council and finance committee. Over 400 attended on the night.

Fr Donovan said he and Fr Currivan are “still on a high from all the goodwill and so many people who turned up”. 

“They put on a great night - the liturgy, the choir was outstanding, all the decorations and flowers in the church, the children in both schools did a number of songs and the Millennium Centre pulled out all the stops. It brought a great unity and sense of community,” said Fr Donovan.

Michael Collins, chair of the finance committee, said they are delighted to have two such “compassionate, committed, respectful, generous, kind, joyful, humble men in our midst”. 

“We are very lucky. There are a lot of parishes that have no priests at the moment and we have two who are so involved in the community and always have been. It was a nice occasion for the parish and for their families to be able to see how much they are appreciated in our parish,” said Mr Collins.

Fr Donovan and Fr Currivan said the Mass with the assistance of Fr Edward Cleary, a nephew of Fr Currivan who is parish priest in Knockainey; Fr Michael Wall, Chaplain of Mary Immaculate College; Fr Paddy Ryan, of the Holy Ghost Fathers and a native of the parish; and the Very Reverend Dean Niall Sloane, Dean of St Mary’s Cathederal and Rector of Abington. 

The Mass stared with the hymn Down in the River to Pray which is Galbally man Fr Donovan’s favourite hymn. Then it was time for Thurles native Fr Currivan to be honoured with Mossy Hynan beginning his homily with a rendition of Slievenamon.

Surely a sacrilege in a County Limerick church!

The reflection given by Phil Martin, secretary of the pastoral council, was taken from a speech Citizenship in a Republic by Theodore Roosevelt, The Man in the Arena.

On behalf of Fr Currivan and Fr Donovan, the parish pastoral council, and finance committee, Ms Martin thanked all who attended the celebration Mass especially the priests’ family members, and those involved both in organising and taking part in the Mass, and the party in the Millennium Centre. 

“Thanks to Caherconlish and Caherline schools for the beautiful art work decorating the church. Fr Currivan and Fr Donovan were told they can be in no doubt as to how much they are loved by the messages on these posters by the children.

“To Blaithín Milne, Fr Donovan’s  niece, and Karl Nesbit for their beautiful music before Mass, and to our choir and musicians led by Valerie Walsh. Thanks to Breda Lunn, acting sacristan, who made sure all was in place for a wonderful celebration,” said Ms Martin.

“It was absolutely beautiful,” she added.

The celebration continued well into the night in the capable hands of the management and staff of the Millennium Centre. Children of both schools entertained all with music and song. 

There was a presentation made on behalf of the parish to both priests to mark their diamond and ruby anniversaries. 

“It was a perfect evening,” summed up Fr Donovan.