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Fr. Sean Mulligan's First Mass

Due to prior commitments I was unable to attend the Ordination Ceremony of Fr. Sean in St. Macartan's Cathedral on Sunday, July 1st 2018. It is a rare enough event these days and Catholics should celebrate when a new Priest is ordained and will be working among us in Clogher Diocese.  It is also a cause of celebration that Sean had experienced life as a lay person for a number of years before he, as he says himself, 'stopped running and accepted God's call to be a priest'. The Ordaining Minister was our own local man - Bishop Noel Treanor of Down and Connor. The Cathedral was packed to capacity for the occasion which again is great to see that so many are prepared to give up a sunny Sunday afternoon for an occasion like this to show their support to the person being ordained and to proclaim their membership of the faith he is going to preach. After the ceremony the Sliabh Beagh Hotel was tested for their ability to deal with huge numbers and they did so with great professionalism and ease. Later in the evening another huge crowd accompanied Fr. Sean to Benediction and Meditation in St. Joseph's Church, Knockatallon.
Monday evening saw another major movement of people when another massive crowd gathered in the beautifully decorated locality of Knockatallon for Fr. Sean's First Mass in St. Joseph's. Thankfully it was another lovely Summer evening as there were as many having to remain outside the church as fitted inside, which was indicative of the huge turnout for the event. Fr. Sean, accompanied by colleagues and fellow priests and deacons, led the congregation through the Mass with prayerful concentration. It was tinged with sadness as he would have loved that his parents had lived to experience the moment with him but he offered the Mass for them. In his homily he told his story but then looked at where the Church is at in the modern world and how the Catholic faith is being pushed aside and people acting as if there is no God and claiming their right to choose whatever they like to do without any consideration of God or others. You can read Fr. Sean's Homily
HERE. Local youth were Altar Servers, local choirs provided the sacred music beautifully, and the local committee acted as stewards both inside and outside the Church. This was a fantastic show of Community at its best. This was a getting together of the masses for one purpose. This was an event which will be remembered by all for a lifetime - the day Fr. Sean said his First Mass in Knockatallon. Afterwards, and while he was bestowing his First Blessing on all and sundry individually, people enjoyed the Sliabh Beagh hospitality and also enjoyed the chatting and meeting of friends and neighbours and wondering who the strangers were. When Fr. Sean finally got as far as the function room there was no rest for him just yet as he was presented with some gifts from local groups including the Community, Scotstown GFC and St. Joseph's Young Priests Society. Mary Mullan and John Moyna spoke and Fr. Sean replied. Some photos then with family, organising committee and some former team mates and I don't know what time Fr. Sean got putting his head on the pillow but hopefully he slept well as it has been a hectic weekend and weeks of preparation but he left nothing to chance and it was all a wonderful celebration. We congratulate him and wish him a happy, healthy and satisfying life in the service of God. My photos are in no particular order but you will get a feeling for the event hopefully going through them.