Sunday, June 09, 2024

Donegal priests celebrate 100 years of ministry

TWO Donegal priests are celebrating their Golden Jubilees having between them, served as priests for 100 years on Saturday.

Glenfin Parish Priest Fr Lorcan Sharkey and Fr Michael McCullagh are celebrating 50 years in the priesthood having been ordained on the feast of St Colmcille, June 9.

Fr Sharkey marked his anniversary last Friday celebrating Mass in Glenfin with friends, family and parish members gathering for refreshments afterwards in the Parochial Hall.

Speaking to the Donegal News this week Fr Sharkey said he had two special guests at the event – the Anglo Celt Cup won by Donegal’s senior footballers in Clones as well as the Division Two league trophy.

“I could not hold any celebration next weekend as Stranorlar based Deacon Anthony Hartnett will be ordained in St Eunan’s Cathedral
on the actual date of my ordination 50 years ago which was also a Sunday.

“Fifty years is a long time. It is hard to believe it has passed so quickly,” he said.

He spoke of how congregations have dwindled and recalled going to chapel in Annagry as a young man and two men specially employed to get people to squeeze up in the pews to make more room for others, such were the crowds back then.

“Our churches today are only one third full which is a huge change in those 50 years,” he added.

Fr Sharkey has no plans to retire in the immediate future although under Canon Law he must tender his resignation by age 75.

“I am happy and healthy and enjoying the fresh air and exercise I get as part of the Glenfin Cycling Club,” he concluded.

Meanwhile in Dungloe next Saturday Parish Priest of Knock, Fr Michael McCullagh will celebrate his Golden Jubilee in St Crona’s Church in Dungloe.

He is a member of the well known McCullagh family of Quay Road, Dungloe.