A POPULAR priest who was an innovative teacher and president in Killarney’s St Brendan’s College for a number of years last night celebrated an emotional Vigil Mass to mark the end of his official duties in the Diocese of Kerry after 51 years.
Monsignor Dan O’Riordan, who has retired as parish priest in Castleisland and plans to live in Crosstown in Killarney, enjoyed a 25-year career in the Sem.
His pastoral work included terms in Rathmore, Tralee in Castleisland.
There was a huge attendance at last night’s Mass in the Church of St Stephen and St John in Castleisland and many parishioners were very emotional on the occasion which was followed by a community get-together at which the popular priest as presented with a gift from the parish.
Following his studies in Maynooth, Fr Dan was ordained in St Mary’s Cathedral by Bishop Denis Moynihan on 16 June 1968 and the following year he completed his teacher training and joined the staff in St Brendan’s College where he remained for 25 years.
He was a greatly respected and very knowledgeable career guidance teacher at a time when the school catered for over 200 boarders as well as day pupils.
In 1985 Fr Dan became an innovative president of the college, succeeding Fr James Linnane, and in 1995 he was transferred to his first parish in Rathmore.
The busy St John’s Parish in Tralee followed and he remained there for 12 years before he was appointed Parish Priest in Castleisland and Vicar General of the Diocese by Bishop Bill Murphy in 2008.
Now a very fit and sprightly 76 years of age, Fr Dan said he is looking forward to a break and less and administrative duties but he will be helping out in any parish when the need arises.
The Castleisland Pastoral Council paid the following tribute to Fr Dan:
“You started on this journey so many years ago and now it’s time to leave behind good friends you’ve come to know
You sought divine direction and a heart to do God’s will, your work became your passion as you used your gifts and skills
You set the highest standards for yourself and others too, showing honour, pride and dignity, we all saw the best in you
So don’t waste one more minute wishing for things that might have been, rather watch the seeds you’ve planted grow and feel God’s peace within
We pray God keeps you safe and well wherever you may turn
And in the quiet of your heart may you hear God softly say ‘My good and faithful servant, I’m so proud of you this day’
Fr Dan we will miss you. We wish you good health and happiness on your retirement.”
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