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‘All we have now is the stuff that matters’

AS the coronavirus takes grip across the country one of Fermanagh’s best known clerics has admitted he is missing home in this ‘strange and difficult time’.
Passionist priest Fr Brian D’Arcy, former rector of the Graan,  and who is now based in Crossgar, Co Down, admitted this week that it is a tough time for him being away from his beloved Fermanagh. 
Speaking on Monday he said, “Of course I would rather be there, but the bottom line is that we don’t get to choose our path in life. That’s one of the things we’re having to learn now.”
“Who ever thought we would hear the bishops saying, ‘Please do not go to Mass’. So, I mean, we are in new territory. 
“Who ever thought that on St Patrick’s Day every pub in the Republic would be closed down. 
“Who ever thought that every sporting event in Ireland would be cancelled all at the same time. It is just a complete wipe-out of everything we know.
“It’s like losing your 
computer with everything you were used to stored on it. 
“All of a sudden it’s all gone and you have to start afresh again,” said the Arney born priest.
The Bellanaleck man added that it was a great lesson that people had to learn. So many people have been putting huge efforts into St Patrick’s Day, and other things like sport and yet in the stroke of a pen it is all gone. 
For years the popular Passionist priest has worked with the entertainment industry in Ireland, but he recalled that on Thursday morning last everything that they had planned for the next couple of months had just gone. 
“They have no living. They have no way of making a living or doing anything. 
“Everything is just wiped out. Everything they have given their life to has just disappeared,” he said. 
“I often ask myself in moments of prayer, what have I left when everything I have done is removed?
“What I have left is me. That’s all. So eventually that’s the journey that each of us have to take. 
“Some day we will be left with nothing. So we have to stop and whatever God you may believe in, say, well, here I am. That’s the way I’m thinking.”
While out on his regular early morning walk on Monday Fr Brian his mind turned to taking something positive out of this, but he admitted there is very little positive other than we have to fall back on ourselves. 
“All the things we put our trust in are gone. Relationships, support, friendship, good neighbourliness, stuff that money can’t buy is all we are left with, but that’s a lot.
“That’s something that no disease, no person, no regime can take from us and so what I’m thinking today. 
“I have to recognise how tough it is for families, mothers, fathers, children and young people facing into exams.
“What is their future like? Has their whole life been wasted because of something that they had no and active part in creating?”
He said that undertandably all people had been doing was talking about the negatives adding that the negatives were important, but they were not everything. 
He warned, “If we settle with negatives we’ll end up in depression which will be a greater virus and a more incurable virus than coronavirus.”
“What we have to do is say all of this is terrible, but where does that leave us. 
“What have I got. I’ve got a family, a phone so that someone can talk to me. So far I have enough food to do me,” he said. 
He suggested the most important lesson we could learn is to live with ourselves with what we have and it is the relationships that are important, not the things.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA