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Dermot McKenna SJ: animated by Vatican II

It was Vatican II above all that gave Dermot McKenna SJ, who passed away on 21 January, aged 90, the freedom to live out his Jesuit life fruitfully, according to Gerry O’Hanlon who gave the homily at the requiem Mass on 24 January.

The council brought with it “a retrieval of the mystical, more emotionally charged, and experiential version of Ignatian spirituality, the opening to finding God in all things and an understanding of the faith that does justice”. It was all of this that allowed Dermot to “breathe in a way that wasn’t so easy beforehand, despite his idealism, his love of God”.

Fired by this new spirit in the Church, Dermot became engaged in technical education, especially in Bolton Street College of Technology. According to Gerry, Dermot threw himself into “direct analysis and dialogue around the world of work and all it demanded”, studying urban sociology and social psychology. Eventually he set up the Bolton Trust to help fund and support the cooperative movement in Ireland, his great passion in life.

Dermot passed away on 21 January 2020. You can read Gerry O’Hanlon’s homily notes here »

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.