Archdeacon says goodbye to parish
Messages of goodwill came in from around Europe last weekend for Archdeacon Jim Carroll as he departed as Parish Priest of St Peter's.
Addressing the congregation at Saturday's mass in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, at which he was welcomed by a round of applause, he said that his departure was like leaving a house, only this time he would miss the people and the team around him.
He said he had been 'privileged' to journey with the people for the last 13 and a half years and recalled that he arrived on his first day on a steam train, courtesy of the Old Drogheda Society.
'A lot has happened, ups and downs, and you learn as you go along. The best way to be a good leader is to surround yourself with good people,' he stated, mentioning the likes of housekeepers, office staff and sacristans, as well as the parish councils and pastoral teams.
He spoke of his family and those that had passed away, but 'you keep the memory there' and said they are still minding us.
A well known lover of long walks, he spoke of people taking the 'inner journey, the journey of the soul', saying it was important for people to reach out to those in need.
'My father was a carpenter and he'd say, the man who never made a mistake, never made anything.
'Many the mistake I made and I'm sorry for that,' he added.
Following the mass, Fr Paul Murphy spoke on behalf of the priests present, saying that Monsignor Jim's pilgrimage would continue on to Clogherhead and Monasterboice.
A number of presentations were made by parish groups and his 'great ability to listen' was recognised.
Goodwill messages were read out, starting with Bishop Michael Smith who said the parish of St Peter's had worked well with St Mary's down the years.
Monsignor Ciaran O'Carroll, Sr Mairead from the Siena community and Fr Ray Kelly in Oldcastle also sent messages added to comments from Downside, Argentina, Hanover and Lambspringe in Germany, where they lit a candle at the shrine of St Oliver.
He said he was proud to have played his part at the national shrine of St Oliver, revealing that he was christened James Oliver.
Afterwards, members of the congregation gathered in a marquee at the front of the church where Mon Carroll was again feted for his enormous contribution to life in the town for more than a decade.
Archbishop Eamon Martin will officially induct Canon Eugene Sweeney as Parish Priest of St Peter's Parish on Saturday evening next at the 6:15pm Vigil Mass in St Peter's Church.
Canon Eugene will also celebrate and preach at the Triduum Mass on Monday February 11th (the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes) where there will be the anointing of the Sick.
All are welcome