Every First Friday of the Month from 7 pm – 9 pm With Social afterwards.
7:30: Talk on Lent with Fr. Fergal
About Fr Fergal:
I am a Curate in St Mary’s Parish, Drogheda, County Louth. I was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Meath in Church of the Immaculate Conception, Ashbourne, County Meath on Sunday Sept 30th 2018. I was the first priest who our newly ordained Bishop of Meath, Tom Deenihan ordained. I was 8 when I felt the call to become a priest and I love serving the people here in St Mary’s Parish, Drogheda. Priesthood is a unique way of life where you see another side of humanity and you try your best to empower and energize people to embrace the gospel, to be holy and to enjoy the beautiful freedom that being a faithful disciple of Jesus gives us.
I did undergrad studies at DIT Bolton St (BSc, [Environmental Management] 2011), and at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth (BPh [Philosophy] 2014 and BD [Theology] 2018). I worked for one year in HR as a break form the study between DIT and Maynooth Seminary. I did college and a bit of work before seminary as a back up, because I felt a call to priesthood, and yet I was deeply attracted to getting married and having children. So I told my mother that going to seminary is like gambling, it that it can go either way. I told her that I will give it three years and if I did not feel the call to celibacy, then I would leave, but if I did feel the call, I would give God my all.
I had 6 good years of study, discernment and formation in Maynooth seminary. Maynooth gave me a lot of time to think, pray, study, reflect, discern and to develop my faith and to be enriched by the complexities and problems of philosophy and theology – which was very enlightening. I miss philosophy more than theology! For my seminary pastoral year, I spent 6 months in Trim parish and 3 months in the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio and in Hillcrest hospital, Ohio as a trainee hospital chaplain. These two placements helped me to realize that priesthood and ministry is the path for me that fulfils me and that I love. I went from feeling called to priesthood to knowing that I was called to priesthood – which is a similar feeling that couples reach when they get engaged, you go from feeling to knowing deep down within your heart – that this is the right decision to do.
I am co-chaplain to Ireland’s largest national primary school with my PP Fr Phil Gaffney. We have 1,105 students in St Mary’s Parish Primary School. It is five streams of classes – so I have to do all my catechises lessons five times! I assist the candidates for First Confession and First Holy Communion and Fr Phil assists the candidates for Confirmation. The kids ask great questions. I am chaplain to St Mary’s diocesan school – a boys only secondary school that has 820 students. I hope to get my TY students to make some icons soon and to teach a bit of philosophy to my fifth year students during their RE class time. My neighbours are the CFR sisters who, although not parish sisters, kindly help out in our parish in different ways.
I enjoy cycling, hurling, reading, gardening and travel. This summer I am looking froward to throwing my road bike into the boot of my car and spending 3 weeks in August in France where I will cycle some of the famous Tour dr France climbs of the Pyrenees. In October, all going well with my training, I hope to make a good time (3hr30min or maybe break the 3hr!) as I enter my first Marathon in the Dublin City Marathon.
My favourite saints are Saint Augustine, Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Edith Stein. At the moment I am still Ireland’s newest diocesan priest and currently I am the second youngest diocesan priest. Father David Vard (CC Portlaoise) is Ireland’s youngest diocesan priest. I enjoy researching Patristics, Eucharist, Trinity, Scripture, Theology of the Body and Aesthetics. Presently I am trying to learn Irish and French in my free time.
This November I am looking forward to going on our diocesan trip to the Holy Land (04-12 November) with Bishop Tom Deenihan and with various people from the Diocese of Meath. This will be my first time to the Holy Land and I cannot wait to see the places where Jesus walked, taught, performed miracles, died and rose again. Looking forward to meeting you and in learning from you. Dia leat,
Fr Fergal Cummins CC