Parish of the Immaculate Conception and St. Killian Clondalkin
This weekend Fr. Damian will be leaving the parish after thirteen years.
GOODBYE, FAREWELL AMEN
I was in the central house of the Society of Saint James the Apostle in Miraflores, a district of Lima in Peru when on the 2nd of July 2007 I received an email from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin appointing me to Clondalkin Parish from the 1st of September that year and would I accept the appointment. Without hesitation I accepted and was told to report to Fr. John Wall on the appointed date. I had known JW since seminary days and we worked together in the North Inner City and it has been an honour to have succeeded him eight years ago.
That Saturday evening the first person I met was Fr. Jim Mc Caffrey then living next door, he gave me the keys of Saint Cecilia’s. Fr. Jim suggested that I come back later to watch the rugby union world cup. That was the beginning of great friendship and many a night I adjourned next door for spiritual conversations. I realised very quickly that I was stepping into the giant footsteps of an immensely popular priest Fr. Dave Lumsden who sadly went to his eternal reward in the last few months. He told me that soon I would walk in my own footsteps and leave my own footprints. I hope in the intervening years that I did.
It is difficult to express in few words my heartfelt gratitude to the parishioners of Clondalkin for their support in the past thirteen and a half years. I have spent more than half of my priestly ministry in Clondalkin and I have enjoyed my time here occasionally lending a hand in Tallaght University Hospital and at Cloverhill and Wheatfield. This variety of ministry has helped me grow in the appreciation that life is not always kind to everyone and that I am called to preach the Word of God and shine the Light of Christ in good times and in bad. My favourite part of ministry has been my involvement with our numerous schools from Boards of Management, Sacramental preparation, Sacramental ceremonies, and graduations. As Catholic Schools week come to an end, I wish to thank all those involved in our schools.
Thank you to all who play a part in our Parish through their gift of time, treasure, or talent. My three secretaries, Fran, Anne and Julie, Deirdre our bookkeeper, Peter Siney, Frank Brown, and Christina Malone who worked along side me as Parish Pastoral Workers, The Parish Pastoral Council who I gather said some nice things about me below, the Parish Finance team and Safeguarding officers and all our various ministers. To the late Padraig Doyle and Fran Byrne who did so much valuable work behind the scenes. Finally, to thank my brother priests Des, Shán and Padraig, our deacon Don Devaney who have supported me particularly during this time of transition.
There is a great tradition of men and women from Clondalkin serving in the Defence Forces so it is somewhat appropriate that my next assignment will be as Chaplain to the Defence Forces based at Mc Kee Barracks Blackhorse Avenue.
Please keep me in your prayers and I shall keep you in mine.
Adios y Gracias!
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