Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Kerry priest Fr Patsy Lynch celebrates 50 years since his ordination – ‘I have no regrets’

I Can't Claim My Pension Due To Years ...

On June 9, 1974 Fr Patsy Lynch was ordained as a priest. This week marks 50 years since that day and in the intervening year Fr Lynch has achieved much and lived in his words a life without any regrets.

Putting up his hand in class to show his interest in the priesthood proved to be the right decision for the now 75-year old and his current congregation helped him celebrate this important date this weekend with a Golden Jubilee for the popular and it must be said outspoken priest who has embraced the modern world and is one of the first to criticise the church where necessary.

No stranger to headlines not least for his modern out look and the use of technology to grew his congregation Fr Lynch believes the church must move forward and embrace change.

He made news during Covid pandemic when he uses a drone to broadcast outdoor masses in local cemeteries in Portmagee, the Glen and Ballinskelligs and his three churches in these parishes are the most digitally advanced in Kerry and possibly in Ireland with mass live-streamed using the latest and most high-tech technology available to bring mass to the masses.

Most recently he came to attention in a battle for his pension which the state say he is not entitled due his work as a missionary but for now he wants to put that behind him as he marks his Golden Jubilee.

Originally from Currans in Castleisland he spent much of his life in Ghana before returning to pastoral duties in Kerry in Ballymac and in St Brendan's Church in Tralee and since 2017 in South Kerry where the community were more than glad to help their parish priest celebrate the momentous occasion.

"It is a significant milestone in his life and needed to be celebrated,” said Margaret Brown of Ballinskelligs Pastoral Council who organised the celebrations.

"It is a wonderful achievement and he is a valuable part of our community.”

For Fr Lynch the 50 years have passed quickly and doing what he loved.

“For 50 years I give gratitude to God. I have no regrets,” he told The Kerryman this week.