Monday, 6 June 2016



40th Anniversary Mass
Today, June 6th, is the 40th anniversary of my ordination to priesthood at Waterford Cathedral by Michael Russell, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.

We - my congregation, family and friends celebrated the anniversary at the weekend by having a Mass in Belfast and a meal afterwards at the Europa Hotel.

The congregation numbered 50 and consisted of the congregation that meets at Larne, members of my family, lay and priest friends, clergy and lay friends.

Pat and Rev Chris

We are most grateful to the Reverend Chris Hudson and the congregation of All Soul's Church Belfast for allowing us to have our liturgical celebration at their beautiful old church on Elmwood Avenue. 

Entrance to All Souls

The liturgical music was provided by The Oratory musician Daniel Osgood DMus and by the renowned Irish flautist Seamus Tansey - the man who taught Michael Flately of Riverdance to play the flute. 

Seamus Tansey

The readings were read by family members, congregation members and various friends. 

During the homily I spoke about the significance of the number 40 - both in the secular world and in the world of the Bible and Christianity.

- A human pregnancy - 40 weeks.
- Monopoly Board - 40 spaces.
- A brief sleep - 40 winks.
- The working week - 40 hours


In the context of the Bible and Christianity:

- 40 mentioned 146 times in the Bible.
- Moses - 40 years in Egypt, 40 years in the desert and 40 days on Mount Horeb.
- Kinds David, Saul and Solomon each reigning for 40 years.
- Jesus - 40 days in the desert, 40 days appearing to his disciples and prophesing the        destruction of the Temple 40 days from his death.

I also said the 40 years . days in the Bible is shorthand for "a long time".

And 40 is also shorthand for a time of trial and a time of testing. 

My Brother John (Waterford) and sister Margaret (Dublin)

I finished by saying that I never felt happier in the priesthood and was very blessed to have so many good friends to love me and to have had the protection of the Good Lord for so long.

Father Joe McCarthy - Cork - distributing Holy Communion

Of course being the day it was I dressed in my episcopal best :-)

With three of the concelebrants

I don't normally dress up like that - but Hey! on your 40th WHY NOT !!! 

Victor Hamilton, Holywood, Co. Down. Long time friend

All in all it was a wonderful occasion and with God's help, I hope to be in ministry for a lot more years - as well of course as being a Thorn in the Side of Roman Catholicism. 

Carole Tierney - Chairperson The Oratory Society

I also had the joy this weekend of celebrating the baptism of 3 year old Annabelle Iris from Orlando, Florida at Gleno Waterford just outside Larne. 


  1. Pat, Congratulations on your 40th anniversary. It seemed that you had a great and intimate celebration with your family and friends. You have had to endure greater challenges than most priests and you survived. I wish I had even a small part of your courage and perseverance. I would love to do what you have done but I do not have your courage and faith. I despair of what we have become in D&C. I wish that in spite of all your humanity the Larne community has a far better bishop and we have.

    Brother Priest.

    1. Thank you :-) We are all very different and each of us must walk our own path. Concentrate on the good that you have done and the good that you still can do. The sheep are like sheep without a shepherd. Do your own bit in the Vineyard. Pat.

    2. Congratulations, Pat.

      Have a wonderful day.

  2. Congratulations on your 40th anniversary. God bless.

  3. Dear Pat,

    Many congratulations on your 40th anniversary of Priesthood.
    You live openly and do not pretend to be something you are not,
    unlike so many of us in the Presbyterate of Down & Connor.

    Priest of Down and Connor.

    1. Thank you. There are good men in D&C

  4. Can I ask Pat . That lovely cake. Was it baked by Ashers?

  5. Congratulations on your anniversary, Pat.

  6. Many happy returns, Pat.

  7. Congratulations Pat on your 40 years within the church and your overcoming all obstacles that have stood in your way.
    Much love to you, and admiration for the steps you have climbed to bring a more comprehensive catholic faith to others :-)

    Molly Malone

  8. Thank you for sharing, Bishop Pat, and congratulations on achieving this magnificent milestone. May you continue to lead and guide your flock for many years to come.
    Michael Matthews

  9. Looks like a good time was had by all. Good also to see Seamus Tansey looking well

  10. Did I mention -Happy to see Eucharist celebrated in a fine ecumenical setting.So Pat after 40 years of hard slog What can we expect for the next 40

    1. And concelebrated by clergy of other churches.

  11. Thats AMAZING-Did you send a record to Popeys facebook page