05 December 2020
2004 celebration of fr willie


Celebration of Father Willie Cleary

Parish Priest of Tullamore 1989 to 2004

Tullamore Court Hotel  was the setting for great jubilation on Wednesday 1st of December 2004, when the Tullamore Parish community celebrated fifteen years of Fr. Willie Cleary as their Parish Priest. The event was attended by some seven hundred people

.He is now serving as a curate in Morington Co. Meath.   

Photos at bottom of the page (click here for more )

The night opened with a civic reception from the town Council. In her address, councillor Molly Buchkey  chairperson outlined Fr. Willie's input and involvement into all aspects of community life. While a committed advocate of the principles of the Second Vatican council "that all the faithful be led to that full, conscious and active participation"...., he also took a keen interest in social and community affairs. 

On his acceptance of the award, Fr. Willie spoke of the joy he experienced while working in the parish, where one of the highlights was the amount of lay people and religious who worked with the priests.

In his introduction to the prayer service Martin Kennedy said. Quote "While the Gospel stays the same, the methods of offering it as a gift have to change with the changing society. The spirit of God is yearning for the church to be creative and imaginative in how we do our work. It seems to me that Fr. Willie took that yearning of the Spirit into his own heart and this was the driving force for his work"...

Prayer service opened with the song by Allendale "There is a Place" (Liam Lawton) while Karen, a transitiion year student lit a special candle designed locally for the occasion.
A reading from St. Paul Eph. 3 set the scene and was followed by a prayer of Generosity. There was a reflection of Oscar Romero and old Irish Advent Hymn:Virgin and Child
An array of Symbols were presented depicting some of the ministries in which R. Willie was invoved or initiated

FLAGSTONES - The journey of priests and people together.
        (Two young men and a seminarian)

CELTIC CROSS - Our ancient heritage (Durrow) and the vision of parish for the 21st. century. (Parishioner of Durrow)

STATUETTE of child in the palm of God's hand - dignity of each person (Member of the Tullamore Travellers' Movement)

BIBLE and HOPE AFTER CALVARY video - The ongoing commitment to ecumenism,and the  Good Friday ceremonies 1995 (Member of Ecumenical prayer group Member of Parish Adm. who took part on Good Friday)

FLUTE and TIN WHSTLE - The interest in music for all the liturgies. (Young Musicians from the family Mass)

PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL commitments - collaborative ministry Priests, menand  women working together in the various ministries (Two members male/female)

WATER and a LOURDES CANDLE - the need for prayer so we can reach out to the sick and troubled. (Sr. sacristan of the hospital chapel,and Co- ordinator of Eucharistic adoration in the chapel)

FIFTEEN CANDLES - one for each year of Fr. Willie's ministry. These were presented by a cross section of the parish - seven primary school pupils, physically disdvantaged member, gospel choir, special minister of the Eucharist, teacher, director of emergency housing, finance member, mother of young children, Offaly wheelchair association member.

Our Father and sign of peace. Allendale played "The cloud's veil" (Lawton) There was a  Blessing and concluding prayer and
All sang "He's got the whole world in his hands"
Words of thanks were expressed
Presentation 1. Travel voucher, tickets for the concert hall
Presented by Fr. Sean Heaney P.P. and Mary Troy  Chairperson of P.P.C.
2. Inscribed book of signatures of parishioners
Presented by Noreen Corroon
3.Gensis The Pilgrims
Prsented by Doreen Grimes Oganising Group
4.  ClaraDeanery Presentation by Fr. Michael Walsh
5. Special candle
Presented by Mary Bergin
Thank you from Fr. Willie
All the readings were proclaimed by a team of Readers of the Word   young and not so young and Fr. Gerry Boyle

Tea and sandwiches followed by a Ceili-Music by The Sean Norman Ceili Band until the early hours.