BY Ryan McDougall | June 14 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Priest marks golden jubilee in parish ‘where it all began’

A priest who celebrated his golden jubilee last week said the key to enjoying a long ministry is prayer — and a good sense of humour.

Fr Pat Hennessy, parish priest of St Columbkille’s in Rutherglen, was ordained at 24 years old in his current parish ‘where it all started.’

After working in a number of priestly roles in Scotland and abroad in Peru, he returned to the country in 1999, served at St Vincent de Paul’s Church in East Kilbride for around 10 years, and then moved back to St Columbkille’s in 2010 where he continues to serve happily today.



On Friday June 7, his 50 years of service were remembered at the church as parishioners and dozens of clergy, including Bishops Joseph Toal and Brian McGee gathered for his big day.

Fr Hennessy said: “It was really fantastic to see everyone there. We all had a lot of fun. I thought it’d just be something simple the parish would organise but, my goodness, it was excellent.

“The people sang really well and everybody there had a great night.”


Blairs college

The Mass was attended by some of Fr Hennessy’s former students from Blairs College, where he taught in his earlier days as a priest.

“It feels like just yesterday I was ordained,” Fr Hennessy said.

“I came to St Columbkille’s when I was just 24—then I was in Coatbridge, then Aberdeen, Peru and eventually back in Scotland.

“We’re a great team here in St Columbkille’s, there’s a strong sense of community and the people here are lovely.”



Throughout his 50 years of ministry, Fr Hennessy has found he has developed through the many people he has met in his various priestly roles in the Church.

“Every assignment has been different,” he said. “When you’re young you think you know it all but it turns out you learn a lot from people and it helps you grow in your vocation.

“Running a parish is like any family, there are always going to be ups and downs.”

Fr Hennessy said that as well as prayer, being a people person and having a good sense of humour are key to maintaining a strong parish.

“I tell the odd joke and sometimes people laugh, but sometimes they say they’ve already heard it from me 15 times already!” Fr Hennessy laughed.

“But I think prayer is the big thing, I find that when you pray everything usually goes well from there on.”

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