PRESENTATION OF JOHN PAUL II AWARDS
MILLENNIUM THEATRE, DERRY
WEDNESDAY 23 JANUARY 2008
CARDINAL SEÁN BRADY
I am delighted to be here in Daire Colmcille tonight. It is always a joy to come to St. Colmcille’s city and that for many reasons.
Down in Armagh there are many pockets of devotions to Colmcille. For example in the historic parish of Termonmaguirc there is a fine Millennium High Cross, built to honour St. Colmcille.
In the Cathedral Parish of Armagh the out-church of Knockaconey, one of the most beautiful Churches in the diocese, is dedicated to the memory of Colmcille.
Colmcille was a Donegal man, a Tir Conaill man, but, like many others from that county, he was so filled with zeal for the spreading of the Gospel that he felt the need to leave his native hearth and more. That same faith and love has inspired a lot of people to go great things and make great sacrifices down through the centuries for love of Christ.
I am glad to be n Derry tonight because it gives me a chance to meet again some old friends. When I went to Maynooth to begin my studies for the priesthood I met there an outstanding bunch of seminarians from Derry. We studied and prayed together. We played football together and we became friends – such good friends that many of them went to Rome last November to be in St. Peter’s to see and hear Pope Benedict make me a Cardinal. I suspect that some of them could not believe it was rally happening and so they went along to see and hear for themselves.
After three years in Maynooth, I went to the Irish College in Rome to complete my studies and to be ordained a priest.