40 Years Ordained – “and not a bishop among us …”

MARCH 2021

Dear Friends,

My ordination class, the class of ‘81, and not a bishop among us.

40 years in ministry through turbulent and changing times. The Ireland of today, not the Ireland we were ordained for. 

Nor could it or should it ever be, since all is change. Nothing stays the same. 

As I grow older, reflecting on the years I have lived in Parochial Houses, ten in all, I am as content, maybe more than I have ever been. 

The poet Maya Angelou says it well: I know that love saves us and that it is here to save us all.

Blessings, Michael



March 2021

I heard the phrase on Irish Radio the other day 

and recognised it for what it was,

The kind of catch-all shorthand

which peppers our conversations,

Flattening whatever sensibilities are within range,

with the indiscriminate and thunderous report of a blunderbuss.

Once every Irish mother’s dream, a son in Maynooth. 

No longer.

Gone like the purple veils that once shrouded

Christ and the Saints during Lent.

Gone like the Ireland we knew and remember,

but never want restored.

In Ireland much has changed, mostly for the good.

Not all. Since progress seldom finds the straight or easy path.

The Land of Saints and Scholars no longer,

yet still the land of stubborn kindness,

The land of dogged heroism,

where daily miracles still happen.

So, I am content as I have ever been,

nothing more to prove. 

Closer to the end than to the beginning,

my default position, Gratitude. Deeply felt.

Similar Posts


  1. Soline Humbert says:

    To arrive at a place of gratitude,deeply felt,is a great blessing.
    May it never leave you. Thank you for sharing Michael.

  2. Fr. Sebastian Joseph says:

    Dear Michael
    Thank you for your reflection. Being content is more than enough. Carry on and be happy.

Join the Discussion

Keep the following in mind when writing a comment

  • Your comment must include your full name, and email. (email will not be published). You may be contacted by email, and it is possible you might be requested to supply your postal address to verify your identity.
  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger. Comments containing vulgarities, personalised insults, slanders or accusations shall be deleted.
  • Keep to the point. Deliberate digressions don't aid the discussion.
  • Including multiple links or coding in your comment will increase the chances of it being automati cally marked as spam.
  • Posts that are merely links to other sites or lengthy quotes may not be published.
  • Brevity. Like homilies keep you comments as short as possible; continued repetitions of a point over various threads will not be published.
  • The decision to publish or not publish a comment is made by the site editor. It will not be possible to reply individually to those whose comments are not published.