A Journal for The Contemporary Church

New and Back Issues

A Pastor looks Back and Forward


It has been a privilege and an unexpected grace for me to have been able to serve as Parish Priest in Balally Parish in the Dublin diocese for the last 25 years from 1992-2017. I recall quite vividly the first time I came to visit the Church of the Ascension in Balally. Archbishop Desmond Connell had indicated he would be appointing me as Parish Priest of Balally and that I should go out to look at the church. It was May 1992. Fr. Willie King, CC, was mowing the lawn in front of the church. On my arrival, I asked him: ‘Did you hear the news’, thinking the only news was my appointment to Balally. He replied quickly ‘Yes, that’s really bad news for the church’! I looked at him quizzically, holding back as best I could my dismay and wondering to myself what kind of welcome is this. Willie went on to say ‘Yes, it is so sad about Bishop Casey’. And suddenly I
realised there was other news, more important news than mine. I was so relieved and the rest is history. During that quick visit to the church in Balally Parish I was taken by the circular design of the church and its attractiveness as a worship space in comparison to other churches in the diocese which are rectangular in shape.