Bishop’s funeral tribute to Limerick parish priest

first_imgLimerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads NewsCommunityBishop’s funeral tribute to Limerick parish priestBy Editor – August 27, 2014 1573 Previous articleImigéin: The Irish ScatteringNext article‘Great Streets’ scheme paints Limerick in a new light Editor Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival The late Fr Billy O’GormanThe Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy, has said that the sudden passing of Tournafolla/Mountcollins Parish Priest Fr Billy O’Gorman has left an enormous void in the hearts of so many, not least his family and parishioners.Speaking following the Funeral Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, Tournafulla yesterday, Bishop Leahy said that the outpouring of sadness over Fr O’Gorman’s passing and praise for his ministry illustrated the huge regard with which he was held in.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Expressing his sympathies to Fr O’Gorman’s sister Noirin, brother John, nephews and nieces, other relatives and friends as well as priests of the Diocese, he said, “There are so many memories that people have of Fr Billy and it is so heart-warming to hear them talk about him as a lovely man and a lovely priest. I’ve heard him described as a holy and spiritual man, as an advisor, a giver of calm and reason and even references that he was like a grandfather, a father and best friend.“Ultimately, what this all says is that Fr Billy was a great a man of God, a great disciple. It was his person that stood out, his ability to create warm relationships with people. That says so much about his ministry, his dedication to his vocation, which was something he honoured every day of his life as a priest.”In his homily, Fr Tony Mullins, Parish Priest Dromin-Athlacca said that Fr O’Gorman was the one who inspired him to take on his vocation and it was with the heaviest of hearts that people had gathered today for the Funeral Mass.“It’s difficult to accept and believe that we are actually here celebrating his funeral Mass. Once again death’s deep mystery holds us in its arms. We are shocked that Billy has been taken from us so quickly. Death stands near to us all once again. His death so suddenly, has left his family, his parishioners, his brother priests and his very large circle of friends shocked and deeply saddened.“As your parish priest, Billy stood on this sanctuary, and in the sanctuary of the Church in Mountcollins, many times during his 17/18 years with you to celebrate funeral Masses for your loved ones. Today, it is our turn to pray for Fr Billy, to ask God to take him to himself, to welcome him home to eternal life.“As we reflect on Billy’s life and his work as a priest, I think the words of St Frances of Assisi are appropriate. St Frances said that ‘If you want to preach use words if necessary’. And in so many ways that for me captures the essence of the life and ministry of Billy O’Gorman. It was not much about what he said, but what he did. Right throughout his 48 years as a priest, in all of the appointments he held, he touched the lives of thousands of men, women and children. And he did so in a quiet, gentle unassuming of way.”Continuing, Fr. Mullins recalled the words of Pope Frances on Holy Thursday in Rome when he called on the world’s priests to bring a divine comfort and the healing power of God’s grace to everyone in need, to stay close to the marginalized and to be ’shepherds living with the smell of the sheep’.“I believe Billy had that deep appreciation and love for the people around him. He was indeed a dispenser of divine comfort. No request for help was too inconvenient for him, and if he didn’t have a solution for us, he would say ‘Come in, we’ll work something out’.“The outpouring of grief since his passing on Saturday night by parishioners, former parishioners, family and friends is evidence of the deep relationship that Billy had with so many of us. There is a sense that we have lost a true friend who was always there for us, whom we thought would go on forever. Billy shone God’s light of love into the hurts and losses of the parishioners he served.”Fr Mullins also recalled his friend’s great love of his parishoners and his ability to understand people’s lives and the struggles they were going through. “Despite being a poor time keeper, he always had time for people. It didn’t matter what time of the day or night. Sitting with the sick and dying, listening to the bereaved, offering advice giving wise counsel. He never pretended to have all the answers, but was always willing to be present with people at key moments in their lives, treating everybody with dignity and respect.“I was blessed to have met Billy when he was appointed as curate to Ardagh / Carrickerry. I was an altar server. In fact, I served his first Mass in the parish. He is the man who inspired me to take the road of priesthood. But I was only one of many people who, over the years, have been inspired by Billy.“Last night people from Dromin / Athlacca, Ardagh / Carrickerry, Adare, Fedamore mingled with the people of Tournafulla and Mountcollins as they queued together to pay their last respects to the man that they loved and respected, sharing stories about him, recalling the part he played in their lives and sharing the more humorous side of Billy. Even in his death we managed to laugh and smile,” said Fr. Mullins.A great fan of hurling, Fr O’Gorman played the game itself and the Drom/Broadford flag was draped on his coffin. In all of the parishes, Fr Mullins said, he served in, the local GAA club became part of his work. He not only trained teams but became life-long friends with many of the people involved.“Billy never liked saying goodbye, it was always difficult for him to let go, as it is for us today. So until we meet again in that place where there is no more separation, where all tears will be wiped from our mind, we bid him rest and peace.” Facebook Advertisement Printcenter_img WhatsApp Email Twitter TAGSBishop Brendan LeahyDromin-AthlaccaFr Billy O’GormanFr Tony MullinslimerickMountcollinsTournafulla RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Linkedin Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed livelast_img read more