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Catholic Church Of Our Lady

2nd of September 2005

Fr. Des celebrated 40 years in the priesthood on Sunday July 31st. The 11 o’clock Mass of thanksgiving in the packed church was concelebrated by Fr. Des in company with Fr. Andrew Urbanski, Superior General of the Salvatorian order and five fellow Salvatorian priests. Fr. Urbanski had flown in from Rome for the day; Fr. Shamus Murphy had travelled from Australia; Fr. Patrick Keaney from his missionary parish in Kisigu, Tanzania, and – also on holiday from Tanzania – Fr. Des’ brother Terry. From closer to home came Fr. Peter Preston who recently took over as British Provincial when Fr. Des completed his six years in the post. The address was given by Fr. Malachy McBride who has known Fr Des from his earliest days as a priest. He reminded us of the duties of the ordained priesthood which Fr. Des had always carried out with unfailing kindness and generosity. Fr. Malachy also emphasised the great and mutual blessings which support the Tanzanian missions. Before the final blessing, Fr. Urbanski presented Fr. Des with a scroll signifying his receipt of a personal blessing by Pope Benedict.
Outside the church all was set for lunch, the tables laid up and gloriously decorated with fresh flowers. Over two hundred people sat down, parishioners and friends joining with a large number of Fr. Des’ family to share in the happy celebration. Generous quantities of hot and cold fare and delicious desserts, prepared by members of the parish, ensured that all were well satisfied. The Irish group, Wraggle Taggle, contributed well to the light hearted spirit of the day, playing old favourites, and at times encouraging not a few to sing along, or take a step or two in time to the music. The day remained bright, despite the threat of rain.
Truly a day to remember!

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