"The life of man my dear brethern, is but a fleeting moment of
being alive, it is a child's game played upon the earth, the flight
of a passing bird, a ship upon the sea that leaves no wake, dust,
mist, morning due and a bursting blossom."
St Gregory Nazianzen
You may already know me. But if you do not, let me introduce myself. I was born in Dublin in 1945 and have two brothers, John who is a manager in a national textile rental company, Peter who lectures on economics in the Dublin Institute of Technology, and a sister, Marie, who is a solicitor in Dublin City Council. My dad, was a veterinary surgeon, who worked for the Department of Agriculture. Although my mum had a science degree and a teaching qualification, she was a lifelong housewife. Having attended Belgrove national school I received my secondary education from the Vincentian Fathers in St Paul's School in Raheny, in Dublin. I joined the Congregation of the Mission in 1963 and spent eight years in the seminary. During that time I got a B.A. in history and politics in UCD and then spent four years studying philosophy and theology, two of them in Clonliffe College, the Dublin diocesan seminary
I was ordained in 1971 and appointed to teach history and religion in St Patrick's College, a grammar school in Armagh. During my ten years there, I spent 1972-73 getting a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, London. When I returned to Northern Ireland I got involved in the Charismatic Renewal and the Ecumenical Movement. Happily, I'm still involved with both. In 1982-84, I trained as a counselor in Dublin and as a spiritual director in Boston, Mass. When I returned to Ireland I joined the Vincentian Mission Team and spent nine happy, but demanding years, preaching in parishes around Ireland. During that time I received an increasing number of invitations to speak abroad, esp. during the Summer months e.g. in the Aquinas Academy, Sydney; Seton Hall University, in Jersey and Florida; the St Anselm Institute, Margate; and Hawkstone Hall, Shropshire. To date I have spoken in 26 countries in four continents.
In 1987, I was really surprised when a number of my charismatic articles were translated into Italian and published in book form in Italy. In 1991, toward the end of my time on the Vincentian Mission Team, I had two books published by the Columba Press in Ireland; Maturing in the Spirit, which was written for the Charismatic Renewal, and Intimacy and the Hungers of The Heart which had a more general audience in mind. The book on intimacy was also published in the U.S. and was later translated into Italian. In the early 90's I joined the staff in All Hallows College where I got an M.A. in spirituality and also taught the subject. During some of that time I conducted a few spirituality courses in the Milltown Theological Institute and the psychology of religion in St Patrick's, Teacher Training College in Drumcondra, in Dublin. In recent years I have tried to publish, on average, a book a year. I have also contributed a chapter to a number of books edited by other people. Some of my books have been translated into Italian, Polish, Hungarian and Czech. I have also written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals such as Doctrine and Life, Milltown Studies, Spirituality, The Furrow, Religious Life Review, and Spiritual Life. Fr a number of years I was an assistant editor of Goodnews magazine which is published in England. I have recorded many tapes and CDs/DVDs. I have also participated in numerous radio and T.V. programs both in Ireland, Britain, Australia, Italy, the Czech Republic, the Slovack Republic, Gibralter and the U.S.A.
A number of years ago I was the Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Irish branch of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), joined the board of Alpha Ireland. In the Summer of 2005 I spoke to Legatus, an organization for influential Catholic lay people, in Detroit. While staying in Sacred Heart Seminary in the motor city, I heard that the college was going to offer an STL degree on the New Evangelisation, starting in the Fall of 2006. As soon as I heard about it, I had a desire, in spite of my advancing years, to get this qualification. With the support of my Vincentian order, I started the course work in 2006 and graduated in April 2008. I intend, with God's help, to devote as much time as possible to the New Evangelization in Ireland. In 2009, a number of us founded a new covenant community here in Dublin, called The New Springtime. It is dedicated to evangelising and training evangelisers. At present I'm living in Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
As far as leisure is concerned, there is nothing I enjoy more than
chatting with friends, perhaps over a cup of coffee or a meal. I'm
typically male in that I like things technical, especially all forms of
radio from shortwave, through DAB and internet broadcasts. I also
love rugby, both union and league. I support Leinster which is based in Dublin. In recent years it has become one of the outstanding teams
in the Northern hemisphere. I'm a music lover who believes there are
only two kinds of music, good and bad. I often listen to the great pop
music of bye gone years, and thankfully there is lots of it, such as
Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, The Mammas and Pappas, the
Beatles, Abba and of course U2. That said I mostly listen to classical
music these days. My favorite radio station is Radio Swiss
International, classical, which is available on the internet. When I
have the time I love to go the the Concert Hall in Dublin to hear our
excellent National Symphony Orchestra.
Besides those enjoyments, I really like traveling around the place on
my Burgman 650 scooter. I don't quite know why, but I prefer it to
driving a car. And of course I often spend happy hours browsing in
bookshops, esp the big meandering ones that are often associated
with universities. But when all is said and done, what I enjoy most is a
good charismatic prayer meeting or healing service where the praise
of God is loud and long and where the power of God is manifested in
different ways. That is a touch of heaven and hopefully an intimation
of the remainder of my biography!
"Life is a sigh between two mysteries" (Irish saying)