Inishowen’s newly ordained pries has spoken of the “lovely reception” he received as he was welcomed back to his home village of Muff.
Fr Sean O’Donnell was ordained in St Eugene’s Cathedral by Bishop of Derry, Most Rev Donal McKeown on Sunday.
Following this, he travelled back to Muff, where he was met by the local accordion band and visited his home of Grove Cottages. Following a liturgical reception in Sacred Heart Church, Fr O’Donnell was welcomed at St. Mary’s Hall, at which a large section of the community had gathered in celebration. Fr O’Donnell also celebrated his first thanksgiving Mass in Sacred Heart Church, Muff last night.
Speaking to the Journal yesterday, he said he while events had not yet quite “sunk in,” he was feeling “immense joy.”He added how there was a “real sense of community and pride” surrounding his ordination and his welcome home to Muff.
Fr O’Donnell said his return and last night’s Mass served as a “thank you” to all those friends, family members, school friends and teachers, colleagues and community who had helped him throughout his life and made him “the person and priest I have become.”
“It was a thank you to those present in the building of the Church, those who are the church and those buried in Muff, Iskaheen and Drung, who prayed for me and for the priest they knew I would become.”
He said: “There was a real sense of community and communion, a thank you for each other and for the gift of a priest. It was a thank you to the Father for the gift of his son and the parish giving thanks for their son who had entered the priesthood.”
Fr O’Donnell was presented with a chalice and paten from the parish and also with a ciborium by his family, which were to be included in last night’s Mass. Asked if he was nervous about celebrating Mass in Muff, Fr O’Donnell said he would be glad to have newly-ordained deacon Christopher McDermott and soon to be ordained curate Cormac McCarthy, as well as Fr John Farren by his side.