Parishioners, clergy and friends gather as Fr Jim celebrates Golden Jubilee

Bishop Denis Nulty with Fr Jim Murphy and fellow priests from Ossory at theGolden jubilee celebrations

Photos by Edward Coady

Friday June 10 was a special day for the parish and parishioners of St Canice’s in the heart of Kilkenny city.

A thanksgiving mass for the golden jubilee of Fr Jim Murphy was held and a packed church joined in the celebrations for the much loved priest.

Joined by many of his fellow priests from Ossory, the service was celebrated by Bishop Denis Nulty.

The past fifty years could be described as an adventure, that saw Fr Murphy serving in different parishes in Ossory, including Tullaherin-Bennetsbridge, Rathdowney, Clara and St Canice’s.

His ministry also saw him travel worldwide.

Speaking on Friday night, Jim said that he was grateful to his parents Willie and Maureen and to his family for their love and encouragement.

He also thanked the Parish Pastoral Council and staff and his colleagues Fr Tom Norris and Sister Concepta.

When it comes to looking back on his ministry, Fr Jim believes that the wonders of the world are in the small things that greet us each day. According to Jim, the Lord is to be found not in the frantic storm or earthquake, but in the sound of the gentle breeze. “When I reflect on my time at St Canice’s, the Lord is to be found in the simple ordinary events”, said Fr Jim.

Fr Murphy said that he loves hearing the beautiful choir each week, and is thankful for the generosity of people who helped with the renovation of the church and the gift of the Parish Centre.

He speaks highly of the great work being done for the elderly at Troyscourt and the community action at Fr McGrath Centre as well as projects such as meals on wheels and the great effort seen in the Parish Council.

“All these things are what makes St Canice’s parish such a wonderful place, and I thank all for the continued support,” said Fr Jim.

Jim was ordained by Bishop Peter Birch on June 11, 1972.

Following the mass of thanksgiving, a tree was planted in the church grounds after which light refreshments were served in the local community centre.

Fr Tom Coyle – 32 years as a Priest of the Diocese of Ossory

Meanwhile Fr Tom Coyle celebrated mass on Thursday 16th June, in St Mary’s Cathedral to remember his ordination anniversary which was on the16th June 1990.

Welcoming Fr Tom, Fr Scriven, Administrator of the Cathedral, congratulated Fr Coyle commenting that his life’s work was a game of two halves!

In the first half he looked after the ‘soles’ of High Street when he worked in the shoe department of Goods Shop and in the second half he looked after the ‘souls’ of St Eugene’s Cathedral (Derry), Rosbercon, Castlecomer and as PP of Galmoy.

Fr Tom and his family have had a long association with the Cathedral Parish and in particular with church music in the cathedral.

Fr Scriven congratulated Fr Jim Murphy and Fr Dan Bollard who are natives of the parish and golden jubilarians this year with Fr Charlie Kelly who was curate in the cathedral (1972-1975; 1977-1987). Fr Lorcan Moran celebrates 40 years this year and he also served in the cathedral (1995-1997).

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