Sunday 30th May 2010 saw celebrations in Clane Parish as parishioners thanked Fr Denis Harrington to congratulate him on the Golden Jubilee of his ordination, as he retires from active ministry in the Parish.
At 10am there was a special Mass of Celebration in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Rathcoffey, where Rathcoffey Choir led the congregation in song, and a presentation was made to Fr Denis from the local community, and from St Mochua�s school, where he served on the Board of management and as chaplain for many years. At 11.30 am, Fr Denis celebrated Mass in the Church of St Patrick & St Brigid in Clane, where he was joined by Fr Paul O�Boyle, PP, Fr Paul Dempsey, Naas, former curate in Clane & Rathcoffey, Fr PJ Byrne, Parish Priest of Kilcock, and Fr Vincent Murphy, SJ, from Clongowes Wood College. The Parish Choir and Folk Group joined to provide music for the Liturgy.
At the end of Mass, Fr Paul paid tribute to the service Fr Denis has given to the people of Clane & Rathcoffey over the past 15 years, and also his service to the wider Diocesan community over more than 50 years as a seminarian and then as a priest.
Fiona Marron, local artist, presented Fr Denis with a piece of her work as a memento from the people of the Parish. Pat Costello made a presentation on behalf of Scoil Phadraig, and Deirdre Costello on behalf of Scoil Bhride. Mick Hallissey also made a presentation on behalf of the Parents� Associations. Sandra Dooley, Secretary of Clane GAA, made a presentation on behalf of Clane GAA.
Two of this year�s First Communion children, Joanne Deay and Steven Sheehy, then went to the Rosary garden outside the church with Fr Denis to plant a maple tree to commemorate the occasion.
Members of Clane ICA organised a reception in the Parish Hall, which many people attended. Fr Denis cut his Jubilee cake, which was part of the refreshments served. Many members of the community, young and old, paid their own personal tributes and wished him well in his retirement.
Fr Denis will continue to live in Clane, which has been his home for so long. He is delighted to do so, having been born close to here, and having spent many years in Ministry in this part of North Kildare. We are all delighted that he will remain among us, and look forward to many more years of friendship as he begins his well deserved retirement.
For more see www.claneparish.com