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Monday 20 November 2017

Parish celebrates pontiff who reached out

Allison Bray

Allison Bray

A parish church with links to Pope John XXIII has a special reason to celebrate his canonisation alongside John Paul II.

The canonisation ceremonies in St Peter's Square in Rome on Sunday will be watched by millions of people worldwide.

The Church of Saints Columbanus and Gall in Milltown, south Dublin, houses a bronze bust of Pope John XXIII which commemorates its late parish priest, Fr Joe Dunne.

Fr Dunne founded the 'Radharc' series of religious documentaries that were aired on RTE for more than 30 years.

But it was the Italian pope who inspired the series through his calling of the Second Vatican Council, which revolutionised the modern Catholic Church, said current parish priest Fr Philip Bradley.

Pope John XXIII caught the Vatican off guard by calling the council in the first place.

He then went on to modernise the church through various reforms despite only holding the position for four years before he succumbed to stomach cancer in 1963.

He was known as a pontiff who was ahead of his time and who changed the ethos of the church from being inward looking to reaching out to the world, Fr Bradley said. And it was that concept of reaching out to the world that inspired the 'Radharc' series, he said.

"He changed the whole thing. He opened up windows and let God in," Fr Bradley added.

The Milltown church will hold a special Mass at 11.30am this Sunday to celebrate the canonisation.

Irish Independent

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