Wednesday 23 October 2019

Canon Eugene is back in St Peter's

Hubert Murphy

A former curate in St Peter's made his return to the parish after almost 30 years last Saturday - on the night he was appointed Parish Priest.

Canon Eugene Sweeney was a new priest back in 1988 and spent his early years in Drogheda, before departing for Armagh.

But he has now returned to the PP role to replace Archdeacon Jim Carroll.

He said it was all a 'new beginning' for him and the world has greatly changed.

But he told a story of when visited the church during the week and recognised a woman, Judy, now 94, at prayer.

'I recognised her from my time here and she recognised me. She was the first parishioner I met in the chapel,' he stated.

He thanked the archbishop for trusting him with the new role.

Archbishop Eamon Martin conducted the ceremony and certainly delighted the locals when he welcomed the mayor, who attended with Cllr Pio Smith, and the 'people of the city of Drogheda'.

A Vicar General, Canon Sweeney was ordained in Darver in 1988 and was the administrator of St Patrick's in Armagh as well as PP in Loughgall and Eglish.

'You are a man of talent, wisdom and good judgement....a gentle and caring pastor,' the Archbishop stated.

He said St Peter's was all the more important as it housed the national shrine of St Oliver Plunkett.

'You are following in good footsteps and I thank Monsignor Carroll for his efforts overs the years here,' he added.

Canon Sweeney was then formally handed the keys of St Peter's.

Archbishop Martin also remarked that he wanted to scotch a rumour he had heard. 'There was a report that I was sending one of my best men to Drogheda because if there's a hard border I mighn't be able to get here myself!.' he quipped, before adding that he hoped there would be no hard border for the good of everyone.

Drogheda Independent