Farewell to Beloved Priest....….AUGUST 2004
| || |
| Fr Peter Thompson plants a Blue Cedar in Church grounds and cuts the first sod for Social Housing project --August 2004|
In August 2004,the whole Glinsk Community turned out to bid a very fond farewell to Fr. Peter Thompson SMA who was leaving Glinsk after a ministry of eight years to take up a new position in Newry, Co. Down. The night was a celebration of Father Thompson's work in Glinsk and the great bonds of friendship and love that he inspired throughout the community.
Mass was concelebrated on the evening by Fr. Thompson assisted by Very Rev. Fr. Hugo McClure PP, Very Rev. Fr. Seamus Cox, Rev. Fr. Tom Garvey, Rev. Fr. Dan O'Neill, Rev Fr. Michael Joyce SVD and Rev. Fr. Norman Davitt SVD.
During his homily Fr. Thompson thanked the people of Glinsk for their support and co-operation. He paid tribute to the Parish Council and the Parish Liturgy group. "I thank them for their patience and perseverance they have been here in season and out" He praised the Glinsk branch of the Pioneer movement "for their consistent efforts in so many parish activities" He spoke of the Glinsk Ladies Club who had "always been available to assist in the organisation of so many Church and Community activities". He thanked Glinsk Community Council who had done so much "to put Glinsk on the map and indeed to keep it there". He reserved a special word of thanks for the Staff of Glinsk school:"We have a wonderful school and I've enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the school" he said.
"In the years that I have been here I have shared the joys and sorrows of many families - the joy of baptisms and wedding days, the pain of the death of the elderly and indeed of young people - I am grateful for the many happy memories I will always carry with me"
Fr. Thompson also paid tribute to his own family members especially those in Scramogue and Killina who were a great support to him.
"Finally, I wish the people of Glinsk every blessing in the years ahead: You have a great, a unique spirit of community togetherness and common purpose and I pray that that spirit will grow as new generations continue the great work that has been done in the past - Go raibh mile maith agaibh go leir"
Following the Mass, Fr. Peter planted a Blue Cedar in the grounds of the church which he had always tended with great love and made the Church grounds a place of great beauty. Next it was on to the site which will be the location of Glinsk Housing Project, a development of ten homes for the elderly of the area.
This was a project which was close to Fr. Peter's heart and was another example of his great devotion to those who were sick, lonely or alone. There he turned the first sod on this development which will be a memorial to his time in Glinsk.
"He sowed the seeds of this project and these seeds will bear fruit in the not too distant future" commented Marty Ward.
The community then retired to the Glencastle Lounge where the Ladies provided food and teas for all. The night came to a climax with the presentation being made to Fr. Thompson. The MC for the night, Marty Ward, Principal of Glinsk National School, paid tribute to Fr. Thompson on behalf of the whole community when he said:
"The speech we make tonight is the one we really don't want to make, these are the words we wish we didn't have to say and the presentation of gifts that we wish could have waited a little longer….
"There is a feeling of sadness and loneliness widespread throughout the parish today but that grief is really a measure of the great esteem in which Fr. Thompson was held by each and every individual over the past eight years. However in the midst of the sadness there is a great feeling of acceptance and a very sincere wish that the new appointment being taken up by Fr. Thompson will bring him joy, fulfillment and happiness.
"Fr Thompson was always there to encourage and support - He didn't call on us from the front or shove us from behind - rather he walked with us all the way. Father, we thank you for your meticulous preparation for all Church liturgies - you made so many days special for those involved. We thank you for your devotion to the sick and your great sense of community, your willingness to support every type of community involvement - your door was always open.
"Father, you have carved a reputation within this community which is built on the person you are, the work that you did, the support that you gave, the kindness you showed and your dedication and commitment to your priestly duties."
Tributes were also paid to the SMA order and Bishop Jones and the SVD order for their care of the Glinsk community.
Parish Priest, Fr. Hugo McClure, paid tribute to the great work of Fr. Thompson and thanked him for his support and co-operation while he was in Glinsk.
On behalf of the assembled community a Bog-oak sculpture entitled "The Spirit of Glinsk" carved by local artist, Padraic Sirr, was presented by Margaret Killackey. A Travel voucher and wallet of notes were then presented by James Shevlin. Fr. Thompson again thanked the people and finished by saying:" You have a unique community -During my time here I have not had one unpleasant experience - I bring with me many many treasured memories - May God always bless it and keep you so" Fr. Thompson then received a standing ovation from the packed attendance.