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Fr Michael Kennedy PP celebrates 40th anniversary with parish of Lusmagh

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Fr Michael Kennedy PP celebrates 40th anniversary with parish of Lusmagh thumbnailMembers of the Lusmagh Parish Council pictured with their Parish Priest Fr Michael Kennedy, who celebrated the 40th anniversary to his ordination on Thursday night of last week.

THE Parish of Lusmagh celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of their beloved Parish Priest Fr Michael Kennedy on Thursday evening last with Concelebrated Mass in St Cronan's Church followed by a sit down meal afterwards in a packed Community hall.
Born on January 22nd 1950 in Rathcabbin, Fr Michael concelebrated another Mass in his native parish on Saturday night last. It was in the old St Flannan's Church in Rathcabbin where he was ordained by Bishop Michael Harty in 1977.
Several members of the clergy from surrounding parishes joined with him in Lusmagh for the concelebrated Mass. He thanked everyone for coming out to the celebrations and he went on to thank family members who he said kept in touch with him and have been a great support to him through the years.
"For me," he said, "it's a very necessary part of our Priesthood that there are so many people behind us, people we meet along that road, that encourage, strengthen and help us in so many ways. It reminds me that it's fifty years ago since I left home, forty years of it in the priesthood."
He recounted with much humour, how he left home at the age of 17 and went to England to live with his uncle and aunt, Mick and Bridge Mitchell. "I didn't go to be a priest, I went to find work," he said. "My sister Mary was already there and they looked after us very well too," he mused. Describing his arrival in London "at the ripe old age of 17" and not knowing what to expect he said he could say it certainly was an education, an education that is forced on you.
During the years spent before he went into the priesthood he joined the Legion of Mary, which he said was his first introduction to that end of the Church. Going to dances was a way of entertainment with his friends "the Tipperary gang", which continued for some years. When the group began to break up, some left to go back to Ireland and others went on to get married, but for himself he said "I knew what the Lord was saying, to come and join the Church."
He joined the Westminster Diocese in 1971 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1977. His first parish as a PP was in 1985 in Bow, East London and in 1994 he moved to Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, and Cricklewood was to be his next home in 2003. During his years as a priest he said the route took so many ways. Some interesting and always demanding.
He welcomed everyone to the celebrations and especially the people from his former parishes in England who travelled over for the occasion.
After spending 41 years in England altogether, he got the opportunity to return home to Ireland and to his roots. On his return he commenced work in Emmanuel House in Clonfert with Eddie and Lucy Stones some years ago.
After spending a number of years there he was accepted into the Diocese of Clonfert by Bishop John Kirby and appointed PP to the Parish of Lusmagh on the retirement of the then Parish Priest Fr Phil Hearty.
John Martin, on behalf of the parishioners of Lusmagh parish, congratulated Fr Kennedy on reaching the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
"While this evening belongs to Fr Michael, may I commend his mother Kathleen and her late husband, who by their example in the family home obviously planted the seeds and laid the foundation that inspired their son to consider devoting his life to the Creator and Sovereign Lord of Heaven and earth, to community service abroad and now to the service of the community of Lusmagh parish and the wider community who are devoted to Emmanuel House of Providence at Clonfert," he said.
Continuing he said "inspired by the example of his home life and nourished by his neighbours and siblings and just like the young Jesus Christ is described in the last verse of chapter 2 of Luke's gospel, Michael 'increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man'."
"Divine Providence led Michael to England where he spent his seminary years away from the arid hurling period during which time Tipperary did not distract the young seminarian, they did not contest the Munster final during that time. However true to his loyalty to his family and of course his county, Michael was ordained to the priesthood on this day 40 years ago in his native Rathcabbin by Bishop Harty," he finished.

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