Offaly priest bids farewell to parishoners as he moves on
A priest in Offaly has bid farewell to parishioners as he moves on to pastures new after 14 years.
In a moving letter, Fr Michael Reddan, SVD wrote to his parishioners and friends where he thanked the people of Birr and Carrig for their “kindness, support and understanding” over the last fourteen years.
Fr Reddan was brought to the parish of Birr in a “temporary capacity” in 2006 by the late Fr Tony Cahir, PP.
In his letter, Fr Reddan wrote: “As you are probably aware, my period of ministry in Birr Parish will soon come to an end. During the fourteen years, working in this parish, I have experienced first hand the kindness, support and the understanding of the people of Birr and Carrig on countless occasions and in countless ways. You have generously welcomed and invited me to share in the many celebrations of family and parish life from baptism through First Communion, to Confirmation and marriage and I have been privileged to experience the courage, respect and love of families and individuals at times of serious illness, tragedy and family bereavement.”
Fr Reddan thanked the management of Birr Nursing Unit and Elmgrove Nursing home for their kindness and courtesy to him on his visits there and also to the many patients, who became his friends over the years. “I wish to express my thanks and appreciation and also to the teachers and pupils of our local primary schools for the support and welcome I received during my visits to them,” he continued.
Fr Reddan then mentioned in particular the late Tony McLoughlin. “I was lucky when I first came to Birr to have met the late Tony McLoughlin, RIP, and with his help I made many acquaintances and gained invaluable knowledge about the workings of Birr community life. To the members of our Parish Council past and present and all those who work quietly and devotedly in the background in and around St Brendan's, I offer my sincerest thanks for their support and kindness.”
He also acknowledged the support and hard work of Ger Roberts, the sacristan, for his “unfailing diligence in looking after the Church” and to everyone, who works and ministers there.
“Little did I know when the late Fr Tony Cahir, PP, first brought me to Birr in a 'temporary capacity' in 2006 that now fourteen years later, Birr would hold such a permanent place in my heart. Thank you to Fr Pat, Fr Anthony and Fr Tom and all the priests I have been honoured to serve alongside during my time here,” he wrote.
“Above all thanks to the many individuals, both church-going and non church going, who sustained me with their encouragement and friendship during my time in the parish of St Brendan's. May we always be friends. May God bless you all, he concluded.