Missionaries in Lucan
Those of you who attend Mass in any of the three Lucan Parishes will be aware that the parishes are served by several priests from abroad. We have four African priests in our grouping and one from mainland China. Fr. John Laizar is a Spiritan priest from Tanzania and is full time in Divine Mercy, Lucan South.
Fr. Joseph Hao is Chinese and for the last couple of years has worked on a part-time basis between the three parishes as needed while completing studies in Maynooth. He leaves us shortly to return to China, and we wish him well, with gratitude for his service among us. Within weeks of his arrival he surprised us all by leading the congregation in St. Marys in ‘A thiarna déan trócaire’ Fair play to him!
Fr. Pius Faruna hails from Nigeria and having completed his masters he is now studying for a Doctorate in moral Theology in Maynooth while working part-time mainly in St. Patrick’s Esker as well as St. Marys.
The two most recent additions to the grouping are two Uganda priests from the diocese of Kasese in Uganda Fathers Dominic Kwikiriza and Father Ubaldo Muhindo. Both have completed studies in DCU and their bishop has kindly agreed to them working as curates in Dublin for a couple of years before returning to Uganda. These men all come from countries where Irish Missionaries have worked in the past, they are in a sense the fruits of Irish Missionary labours, and we are indeed blessed to have them to work among us. At a time when vocations to priesthood and religious life in Ireland have all but dried up, it’s refreshing to know that in many other places many young people are hearing and answering the call to ministry. The new mission territory is now Europe where faith is declining and religious practice falling.
I think it was Shakespeare in his play Julius Caesar who said “There is a tide in the affairs of men.” and while the tide of faith is out in these parts it’s great to know that it is not so in other places.
These men from distant countries bring a whole new experience of the Church to us, an experience of a young church full of vibrancy and enthusiasm and we thank God for their presence among us. Little did the Irish missionaries of former times realise the seeds that they were sowing would ultimately bear fruit in the service of their homeland. God truly does work in mysterious ways!
St. Mary’s Lucan.