Silver lining to popular priest’s celebrations

Fr Jim Lenihan: Celebrating his silver jubilee

A popular Killarney priest is this week celebrating the silver jubilee of his ordination.

Fr Jim Lenihan, who will mark 25 years in the priesthood on Tuesday, has been based in the parish of Killarney for the past eight years.

A native of Boherbue in north Cork, Fr Jim was one of seven young men ordained in the cathedral in Thurles on 7 June 1997.

He was initially based in Listowel for five years, working alongside Canon James Linnane and Fr John Kerin, and he was then transferred by Bishop Bill Murphy to the fishing village of Castletownbere where he remained for six years.

Fr Jim said he enjoys most aspects of his ministry, particularly meeting people and being part of their family celebrations

Fr Jim then moved on, as administrator, in the parish of Allihies for three years and he remained on the Beara Peninsula when he spent another three years in Eyeries.

He was transferred to Killarney, as part of a diocesan reshuffle by Bishop Ray Browne in 2014, to work alongside Parish Administrator Fr Kieran O’Brien and Fr Niall Howard and he said he is “extremely happy” in the town.

In an interview with Mary Fagan on the Horizons radio programme, Fr Jim said Killarney was always his go-to town when he was growing up in Boherbue and, in his youth, he regularly socialised there.

A keen sports enthusiast, Fr Jim, who celebrated his 50th birthday this year,  is a big supporter of Cork GAA and Manchester United.

He said he enjoys most aspects of his ministry, particularly meeting people and being part of their family celebrations.

While there are some low points, including officiating at funerals and calling to houses to breaking bad news to people, he stressed that there are also many highs, including being with people at their happiest times such as baptisms and weddings.

“Journeying with people is such a privilege. I have met absolutely amazing people and it has been very fulfilling,” said Fr Jim who hosts popular weekly prayer meetings in Killarney.

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