THE PARISH of Pobal has paid tribute to Fr John Halton as he celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination.
Looking back on the last 50 years, Fr Halton said that it was an “exciting time to become a priest,” after he left Maynooth in 1971.
Fast forward to 2021, Fr Halton has the same love and enthusiasm for the job and the people of the parish as he did from day one.
Born in Moynalty, Co Meath, Fr John was first appointed back in September 1971 and was chaplain to two hospitals for a year in Co Monaghan.
The following year, Fr Halton became curate in Castleblaney, Co Monaghan. The showband era was in full swing, and some of his man happy memories in the four years he spent there included Big Tom and the Mainliners carrying the canopy in procession up the centre of the church.
From 1976 he was appointed curate in Maghercloone, where he served for seven years, and recalls the enthusiasm of the laity involvement there.
Even then, there was Parish Pastoral Council, congregational singing, and many rolled up sleeves for graveyard improvements and the building of a car park. The folk choir also spent numerous nights practising in his home until the small hours.
Transferring to Lisnaskea in 1983, Fr Halton remembers with fondness the nine years he spent serving the parish with the late Canon McElroy.
With it’s new housing estates, much of his time was spent with young families and couples, and he learned of the different needs of an urban parish.
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