COLUMN: Is there anything after this?


IN THE 1980s when I worked as a priest in a town in Fermanagh, I lived next door to a couple who were rather traditional, conservative Catholics. I wouldn’t have thought of myself as their type of priest as I was a product of the post-Vatican 2 church which for a very brief period flirted with some […]


Time for a helping hand


“HAND” said the booming voice of the middle-aged cleric who lay on my bed in Rhetoric House, Maynooth Seminary back in 1974. “Hand, McLáimh, I’m afraid that name does not have a good reputation in clerical circles. Your pedigree is not very good I’m sorry to say.” The man who uttered these words was the […]


Mary McAleese calls for end of celibacy


FORMER President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has said there will be no priests left in the Western world in 30 years’ time unless the Catholic Church ends celibacy and the bar on married priests. Ms McAleese, currently chancellor of Trinity College Dublin, made the comments after Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, an adviser to Pope Francis and highly influential […]


Time for a Helping Hand


RECENTLY a man asked me out of the blue “Why did you leave the priesthood?” I was taken aback by the directness of his question and replied that I wasn’t cut out for the celibate life. He laughed at my response but that evening I reflected on that difficult decision I made 35 years ago. […]


Fr Gary Donegan has surgery for blindness


FR GARY Donegan has paid tribute to the many people who have “rallied around” him after he recently underwent serious eye surgery. Originally from Newtownbutler, the Ardoyne-based cleric, pictured below, had an operation to restore the sight in his right eye after losing his vision a few weeks ago when a bleed to it caused extensive damage. To read […]


Fr Brian’s book brings a ‘little hope’ this Christmas


FR Brian D’Arcy has said he ‘can’t believe’ the reaction he has received from people on both sides of the border following the release of his new book. ‘The Best of Brian’ – which was published by Red Stripe Press – is a collection of Fr D’Arcy’s articles and excerpts from his previous 16 books and his […]


Passionist priest to celebrate Mass for vocations


FERMANAGH men who may have felt a calling or are considering a life of vocation are invited to a special Mass later this month at St Gabriel’s Retreat at the Graan. While the local Catholic Church has been facing a crisis in recent years, with parish priests continuing to retire but few young clergymen coming through to fill their […]