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Derrylin parish priest celebrates special anniversary

Fr. Fintan McKiernan was ordained on 18th June 1967

THIS Sunday 18th June will be a very special day for Knockninny Parish, exactly marking as it does the 50th anniversary of Fr Fintan McKiernan’s ordination, this landmark occasion being given added significance by coinciding with the feast of Corpus Christi. 
A native of Templeport, Fr. Fintan, was ordained in Cavan Cathedral on 18th June 1967 by then Kilmore Bishop, Austin Quinn, along with three other young men, one of whom, namesake friend but no relation, Fr. Tom McKiernan, retired Templeport PP, will join him on the altar of St. Ninnidh’s Church for Sunday’s 11.15am Mass to concelebrate in thanksgiving for combined 100 years priestly service.
Following Ordination, Fr Fintan was appointed to his alma mater, St. Patrick’s College, Cavan, where he taught Science for 15 years, spending his summer holidays in the USA ministering in Holy Name Parish, Boston, a hugely beneficial learning process as he recalls, “I credit my Boston experience for a lot of my pastoral skills”.
Moving to parish ministry in 1982, he served first in Glenfarne (’82-’88), then in Glencar (’88-98’), finally moving to Knockninny from where he will shortly be stepping down to move to Kildallen.
He has maintained very close relationships with the people of the two Leitrim parishes where he is still fondly remembered, being particularly well-known for his successful running of Glenfarne’s famous ‘Ballroom of Romance’. 
In his time in Knockninny he has overseen such major developments as the building of the new St. Ninnidh’s Primary  School, opened in 2006, carpark extensions as well as refurbishment of St. Ninnidh’s Church sanctuary including webcam coverage. 
Outside his priestly duties, Fr. Fintan is keenly interested in farming and he also enjoys the traditional pastimes of card-playing and hunting and retains strong GAA interest.
He was an talented gaelic footballer in his youth, the highlight of his career being full back on the Cavan minor team which narrowly lost to Dublin in the All-Ireland final of 1959.
Rarely absent from the parish, his favourite way of passing the time being out among people; “this is my way of life”, he says. Fr Fintan is especially diligent at visiting the sick, hospitals, nursing homes and at reaching out to the needy and the marginalised.


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