• on 21st October, 2021

A word from Father Jim: 21st October 2021

A word from Father Jim

Someone here in the parish told me recently I had
a charmed life so far ! I had never thought about it
much , but it’s actually true. Iv been truly blessed in my appointments as a priest. Ballyfermot, Rome, Meadowbrook,
Rathmines, Catholic Youth Care and Iona Rd. I was truly
sad to leave each one of them. Why then did I go to a monastery ? And in America? I’d always felt an attraction to monastic life but until 2016 the time was never right . Only
when my parents died and I had finished my 9 year term as
PP of Iona Road did a real opportunity present itself .I fell in
love with the Cistercian Abbey of Mepkin in S Carolina and
thus a new phase of the journey began..
After the initial challenges I began to love my life in Mepkin.
The regular round of prayer( 7 times daily ) suited me. I
worked originally at cutting mushrooms (very different from
being a PP) and later I was given the role of offering spiritual
accompaniment to Monastic Guests, often young people, who came to live with us for a month. This work was a
great privilege.
Whilst obedience to a Superior was somewhat challenging,
the vow of stability( staying in one place) was easy. As I
have always loved moving around and traveling , this came
as a surprise to me.
The decision to come home was a big one.It took 6 months
to make. Choosing between 2 things you love is not easy
but once I made the decision I felt totally at peace and Have
continued to feel it since.
I feel so blessed to be in Balally with my dear friend Fr Dermot and you all. Thanks for the warm welcome. I hope that
my 5 years in Mepkin will greatly influence whatever
contribution I can bring to the parish.
Pray for me
Father Jim

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