Silver Jubilarian

Father Gabriel returned on the 5th July 2015 to Saint Mary's Church Bunnoe, near Cootehill  (his native parish) to celebrate his silver jubilee.


'How wonderful it is for me to be back here in Bunnoe for the celebration of my silver jubilee – the church that holds many memories for me - going to Mass here every Sunday, receiving my first Holy Communion, and of course the church where I was ordained a priest. Memories come flooding back of Masses in this church, Father Johnnie Cusack as he entered the church, congregating on the steps after Mass and most especially on Christmas Eve, listening to Bunnoe Brass band in the chill winter air. I can scarcely believe that 25 years have passed since ordination and that here I am. It only seems like yesterday when I was making me way home from Rome and where Father Pat Mc Hugh (now living in my current parish) was renovating this church for my ordination. I was ordained a priest on 8th July 1990. Bunnoe Brass band lent magic to the occasion – it was amid the football fever of the soccer world cup in Italy and I was ordained on the day of the world cup final – to the chants after the meal in the white horse hotel of ole, ole ole. Of course there is a lot of water under the bridge in 25 years, I now have the silver hair for the silver jubilee! Many of the people who were present here in this church 25 years ago have now gone to God –today I remember them all and very especially my late father, whose funeral Mass I celebrated here on the 25th February 2013. Together with my mother, he was one of my biggest supporters and I pray that he is now at peace.'