Fr Padraig McMahon celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on Saturday 1 October 2016. The jubilee Mass took place in Mullingar Cathedral, attended by Bishop Michael Smith. Also present were Fr Gerry MacCormack (Kingscourt), Fr Pat O’Connor, (Athboy), Fr Ronan Drury (Maynooth College) and Fr Oliver Skelly (Coole).
In his homily, Fr McMahon said that “words cannot do justice to the incredible privilege it is to minister to the sick in hospital, to anoint a man or woman who is about to leave this world, to welcome a child to the family of God in Baptism, to be part of a couple’s wedding day, to speak the words of absolution after someone has opened their heart and soul in Confession, to visit a classroom and pray with children, to stand at a graveside and help a family say goodbye to a loved one, to read the Gospel and try to break the Word of God into everyday language, to stand at the altar and hold the Host and the Chalice.”
Working as a catechist in Catholic schools has been a major part of Fr McMahon’s ministry. This was reflected in the jubilee Mass, with children from St Mary’s Primary School and Presentation Senior School joining the Cathedral Choir to provide the music. Pupils from Presentation Junior School read Prayers of the Faithful and two children from Gaelscoil an Choilin carried the gifts of bread and wine to the altar.
Symbols of the priesthood were placed in the sanctuary at the beginning of Mass. These included a picture of the church in Kingscourt where Fr McMahon grew up and was ordained in 1991, an image of his first priestly vestment made by the late Kathy Schlesinger, as well as his chalice and paten.
A presentation was made on behalf of Mullingar parish. It was presented by Sophia O’Neill, the first child baptised in the Cathedral by Fr McMahon and by the husband and daughter of Philomena Curran, whose funeral was the first Fr McMahon celebrated in the parish.
A reception for friends and parishioners took place after the Mass in the Parish Community Centre.
Fr McMahon completed his studies in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Meath on Sunday 4 August 1991. Since then he has served in the parishes of Navan, Clara and Rosemount as well as joining the diocesan catechetical team for 14 years. He came to Mullingar parish in 2008 and he was appointed Vicar Forane last month.