Franciscan Presentation to Fr. Tom Ryan, 5th of December, 2016, Poor Clare Convent, Ennis
It’s is with great delight that I have the opportunity to see Fr. Tom being honoured in this Ceremony of Affliliation to the Franciscan Order as an Honary Member by the Franciscan Community here today in the Poor Clare Convent.
Franciscan Presence in the Parish and Diocese
This is my second formal visit to this lovely House of Prayer, the first being the morning before my Ordination and similarly for the Friary the previous day for one of the days of the Triduum back in late September. I take this opportunity to thank the Franciscans, the Friars and the Poor Clares, the Sisters for their wonderful support to the Parish of Ennis and the Diocese of Killaloe in all the pastoral and spiritual services they provide. Please be assured that you are in the prayers for continued success and also for vocations to join you in the future to keep your great work going.
Fr. Tom Ryan – Virtual Friend!
It’s only in recent times that I have had the privilege of getting to know Fr. Tom. For the past few years he has been my virtual friend viaSocial Media. It’s characteristic of the World we live in nowadays that we might have the acquaintance of many people without evey having met them. In this case, I am so glad that in the case of Tom he has become very real in 2016! I’m further glad to see that because, like myself Fr. Tom being on the receiving end of Sr. Gabriel’s outstanding apple pies – he is far from virtual and has indeed become a man of substance. That substance, Tom goes well with the jolly Franciscan image!!!
Fr. Tom Ryan – Pastoral Service
A Native of Ennis and a past pupil of the CBS, here in Ennis, Fr. Tom was Ordained in Thurles June 9th, 1984. Having been ordained on the feast of St. Colmcille he must have had some missionary blood in him as he then went on Temporary Mission to Derry Diocese from 1984-1987. He then served as CC Mulagh, back in his native diocese from 1987-1992. In 1992 he began his great mission to one of the busiest parishes in the diocese when he became CC in Shannon 1992-2002 and PP Shannon 2002-Present.
Mercy on the Mall
Last year – Fr. Tom was fully behind an ingenius event for the start of The Year of Mercy with Mercy on the Mall, brining the Mercy of the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to Christmas shoppers on the Mall in Shannon. It was a highly successful and well received pastoral initiaitive along the lines of what Pope Francis so often calls for and this event also gave an insight into the keen pastoral insight characterisitc of the man we are celebrating today.
This year is a signifcant year for the Parish of Shannon with the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Parish and there already have been a number of successful and meaningful events to mark and commemorate that.
Council of Priests Service
As if he wasn’t busy enough in Shanoon Tom great sterling service as Secretary of Council of Priests for years and was recently appointed Chairperson of the Council of Priests where we are very fortunate to avail of his planning and pastoral skills.
For many years Tom has been Coordinator of the Lourdes Pilgrimage and also Coordinator of Holy Land Pilgrimage both groups who have recently returned from highly successful trips. The numbers, young and old that these pilgrimages attract every year is a great testiment to the wonderful organisational ability and dedication of Tom.
Radio interview on RTÉ re: Crematorium in Shannon.
On the recent trip to the Holy Land many expressed surprise having thought that Tom was busy directing the pirlgrimage and in the middle of it all – he gave a lenghty interview to RTÉ radio, news at one on the planned crematorium for Shannon town. An indication of the wonders of modern technology and the ability of Fr. Tom to multi-task and be in several locations at the one time!
Today we celebrate the great link and relationship Tom has with the Franciscans both here in Ennis and with so many in the various pilgrimage sites he visits. Our only slightly concern is that – that relatioship would not grow too strong!!! I may not be too long in the diocese, but already I’m quite possesive and I recognise a diocesan treasure when I see it and much and all as I rejoice in this celebration I hope Tom doesn’t get too fond of the Franciscan Habit. I feel Tom that brown and white might not be really your colour and that it might be better to stick to the blue and saffron of your native Clare!
Congratulations and Best Wishes
All joking aside – we rejoice on this evening at the great relationship between the Franciscan community and the diocese of Killaloe. Heartiest congratulations to Fr. Tom. May he continue to be blessed with good health and outstanding energy for many more pastoral initiatives and quality ministry.
St. Francis – Preaching
St. Francis often reminded his Friars that the only sermon that some people might see and take heed of is the example of your life. Today we celebrate the example of a many who has put the Gospel into action in many ways in his life and amongst the community in which he wholeheartidly serves.
Thanks to the Franciscan community for recognising and acknowledging his great qualities and good work. Best wishes to all and wishing everyone a most pleasant and enjoyable evening.