Carrigart Parish Priest celebrates special day

FR Charlie Byrne, PP Carrigart, celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood last weekend.
A native of Kilcar, Fr Byrne was ordained in St Cartha’s Church, Kilcar, by the late Bishop Anthony McFeely on June 28, 1981.
On Sunday  Fr Charlie celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass in St John the Baptist Church, Carrigart. Due to Government and HSE guidelines, numbers attending were restricted. Joining him on the altar was Fr John McKay, retired priest of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. A native of Loughgiel, County Antrim, Fr McKay has been visiting the Carrigart area helping to concelebrate Mass for the past 17 years. Also present were three sisters, Mary Byrne, Teresa McGill and Patricia Walsh and his brother Francis.
The lessons were read by Chloe Boreland while Fr McKay read the gospel. The Prayers of the Faithful were read by Donnelly Doherty and Mary Lynagh and the choir was under the direction of Helena Boyce.
Speaking during the mass Fr Charlie thanked the parishioners for their support and help since he first arrived in Carrigart as curate to the then Parish Priest, Fr Patsy Gallagher. Fr Charlie was installed as Parish Priest in 2000. He also thanked God for the call to the priesthood 40 years ago and for his good health during that time.
He is a former pupil of St Cartha’s NS, Kilcar, and Holy Cross College, Falcarragh and attended St Kieran’s College in Kilkenny and the Irish College in Rome.
After his ordination he spent five years in the Parishes of Killymard and Townawilly during which time he was also Chaplain at Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town.
Fr Charlie was part of the first group of Raphoe Priests who went to Lima in Peru in their Mission with the Columban Fathers in 1987. He returned home, and to Carrigart, in 1995.
He said his late parents, Frank ‘Rua’ and Roise had a great influence on him, and that his siblings and their families were always there for support. He thanked the people of the Mevagh Parish for taking him in and accepting him, adding that he has thoroughly enjoyed his 26 years’ ministry in Carrigart.
He is a former captain of Rosapenna Golf Club and the club’s President this year.
A  Parish team organised the Mass of Thanksgiving and Brian Boyce made a presentation to Fr Charlie on behalf of the parish. Mr Boyce outlined the work undertaken by Fr Charlie since coming to the parish.
He suggested that Fr Charlie might well have become an architect had he chosen a different career path, considering all the work he oversaw in the local St John the Baptist Church.
An emotional Fr Charlie received a warm, sustained round of applause at the end of mass.

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