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Cathal’s homecoming

firstmass_01Carndonagh’s imposing parish church was en fete for the last weekend in July. The parish’s new priest, Cathal Doherty SJ, was welcomed by a banner stretched across the gates. Bunting and papal flags were in evidence all around the town’s Diamond. Bonfires greeted Cathal on his arrival at his native parish, and the welcome continued as crowds gathered, offering their congratulations. The old and the young gathered for first blessings. Con McLaughlin, parish priest (pictured below with Cathal), had surely been busy in the days leading up to the First Mass. The care given to the church building and its surrounds were reflected in the preparations that had been undertaken by the choir and servers.

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Having arrived home from Paris where he had completed his final STL examinations just before his ordination, Cathal enjoyed a quiet few days in Donegal once the First Mass was over. He was glad of the opportunity to spend some time with friends and family who had gathered for the celebrations, celebrating mass with smaller groups at home and in Cherryfield. Cathal spent time with some Jesuit companions from Poland and Fance, visiting parts of Donegal, including Tory Island and Glencolumbkille, before dropping in on his new community in Galway. He is currently enjoying a break after the busyness of exams, moving from France and all the attention of the days around his ordination.