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Michael Kelly: 'The Christmas story still pulls people to church, comforted and warmed by faith they were born into'

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Churches in Ireland will be packed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day next week (Stock photo)

Churches in Ireland will be packed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day next week (Stock photo)

Churches in Ireland will be packed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day next week (Stock photo)

A US priest who is relatively new to Ireland told me recently that if he wears his Roman collar to a social gathering in a bar or a restaurant, one of the most frequent question he gets asked is: "Are you really a priest?" He heroically resists the temptation to answer with some variation of: "In Ireland in 2018, who would really pretend to be a priest?"

More often than not, my priest friend is very quickly being asked to pray for a sick relative or a friend going through a rough time.


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