Canon celebrates 65 years in the Church
ONE of the most respected members of the clergy in Ireland, the Very Rev. Canon Dominic McHugh, has been honoured at a Mass of Thanksgiviing to celebrate the 65th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
The Mass, held at Our Lady and St. Patrick's Church, in Ballymoney, was attended by senior members of the Church including Bishops, the Most Rev. Patrick Walsh, Most Rev. Noel Treanor, and the Ven. Archdeacon Kevin Donnelly.
The service was conducted by the Very Rev. Francis O'Brien, and a packed congregation attended to pay their respects to a man who is held in the highest regard.
Canon McHugh was ordained on June 18, 1944 and served as Chaplain to Gibraltarian evacuees in the Braid Parish, Ballymena, from 1944 to 9145.
He then went to teach mathematics in St. Malachy's College, Belfast where he remained until being appointed with several other priests to the new College of St. MacNissi's College, Garron Tower when it opened in 1952. He spent 20 years there both as teacher and President until 1972 when he was sent to Glenarm as Parish Priest.
After three years he went to Crossgar and Killyleagh parish and remained there for another 20 years until his retirement in 1995.
In 1193 he had become a member of the Diocesan Chapter and on retiring in 1995 he came to Ballymoney as Curate where he has remained ever since - "hale and hearty" in the words of Fr. O'Brien.
Canon McHugh was born in Portstewart in December 1919 and studied in St. Malachy's College, Queen's University and Maynooth College before being ordained in 1944.
During his priestly life, Canon McHugh has given loyal and devoted service to the diocese of Down and Connor.
Fr. O'Brien described him as a man of great personal integrity and dedicated zeal, despite his advancing years he still takes a keen interest in football, especially in Glasgow Celtic.
"Over the years he has given, and still continues to give, total self to the fulfilment of his vocation and mission, both as a priest and, in his earlier days, as a teacher in the service of those people and studens amongst whom he has worked," Fr. O'Brien said.
Fr. O'Brien said that despite the immense harm and pain which recent scandals by a minority of priests and Religious had done to the church over the years, "we commend the witness and contribution of other countless generous Pastors and Religious afire with love for God and for souls like Canon Dominic."
Fr. O'Brien concluded: "Canon Dominic, as we offer you our congratulations and assure you of our prayers, our hope on this memorable day is that after many more years as a priest when we enquire in the future about your welfare, your response to us will be the words of Our Divine Lord to the apostes at the Last Supper, the first Mass - 'Here I am, still among you as one who serves.'"
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Weather for Ballymoney
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: East