Fr Brendan O'Sullivan celebrates his Silver Jubilee this week.
This year marks the Silver Jubilee of the ordination of Fr Brendan O’Sullivan. Fr Brendan was ordained by Bishop Dominic Conway of Elphin Diocese in St Mel’s Cathedral on June 27, 1993.
Bishop Conway was standing in for Bishop Colm O’Reilly who was away due to ill health at that time.
Memories from 1993 include Albert Reynolds elected as Taoiseach, Mother Teresa met with President Mary Robinson, Niamh Kavanagh won the Eurovision in Millstreet and Niall Horan from One Direction was born.
Since 1993, Fr Brendan has seen many changes in both the Catholic Church and in Ireland and yet many things have remained constant – the love and support from his parents Pat and Josie, his siblings Michael, Marie, Ciara and Diarmaid, extended family, colleagues, friends and wider community and the love and enthusiasm with which he lives out his vocation in the service of others.
Fr Brendan began his vocation in Longford parish. He subsequently worked as a schools diocesan advisor for eight years before returning to Longford for another twelve years. He was assigned his current role in Carrick-on-Shannon in September 2016.
During his time in Longford, Fr Brendan was the driving force behind many parish initiatives. He was founder and musical director of the Cathedral Folk Group. The folk group sang regularly at the Saturday evening Vigil Mass and at 1pm Mass on a Sunday.
The folk group was also an integral part of Fr Brendan’s monthly Holy Hour. This was a time of an adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, music and prayer. What began as a small gathering of ten or twelve people blossomed into a large congregation.
Fr Brendan availed of this time to reach out to the youth of the parish and provide people with a time to stop and step away from the demands of life to reflect, pray and focus on the presence of Christ in their lives.
Fr Brendan organised many pilgrimages to Croagh Patrick and Medjugorje. Again his focus was on reaching out to the youth of the parish. It was through these pilgrimages that Fr Brendan came in contact with the Cenacolo Community.
The Cenacolo Community is an international community to help young people overcome addictions through prayer, fasting, living a simpler lifestyle of working the land, becoming self-sufficient and developing a personal relationship with God through prayer.
Fr Brendan became very involved with this community and continues to work closely with these young people in their community centre in Knock.
Fr Brendan worked with Accord for twenty one years as a facilitator and counsellor and continued further studies in counselling through Middlesex University in London.
Fr Brendan’s vocation has enabled him to journey with people as they encounter the most joyful of occasions and the most heartbreaking. Each unique journey is met with compassion, care, support and always a personal touch. Each time he would have words of comfort and support, a listening ear, and bring those affected into the moment of the experience.
Marking a twenty five year jubilee with silver dates back to medieval Germany. Silver was considered to be one of the most stable metals. For any relationship to reach twenty five years, stability is required.
Fr Brendan’s relationship with God was and continues to be one of enthusiasm, strength, stability and unity.
Best wishes Fr Brendan as you celebrate your Silver Jubilee.
May you be blessed for your service to the Church and may you continue your priestly ministry for many years to come.