Frank Keane’s appreciation speech which he read at the Mass of Thanksgiving for Canon Tom Browne PP celebrating his Golden Jubilee to the Priesthood at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Youghal, on Wednesday June 20th 2012.
Time is History
We live in time and each of us – some in an obscure, fleeting way; others in a
wider national, even international, lasting fashion – contributes a little history
to the world.
It makes no difference that our contribution to history may be parochial or
national. The main thing is that we all create a little history and tonight we are
gathered here in the historic St. Mary’s Church to express publicly and
convey to you Canon Browne our appreciation of, and gratitude for, your
labours amongst us as our Pastor.
Prayer for Canon Browne
O God who have willed that Canon Browne preside over your family in Youghal, not by any
merit of his but out of abundance of Your untold grace alone, grant that he may carry out
worthily the Ministry of the Priestly Office under Your governance in all things, may direct
the people entrusted to his care. Through Christ Our Lord Amen
Reverent Fathers, Reverent Sisters, newly elected Mayor of Youghal Michele Hennessey, members of the Browne family, parishioners local and from outlying parishes, it is a great honour and privilege for me to be asked to say a few words on this special occasion as we congratulate and pay due tribute to our much loved parish priest Canon Browne who celebrates fifty years of priesthood in the historic Diocese of Cloyne.
My first association with Canon Browne goes back to the morning of the 12th August 2001, on the evening previous to this date a terrible tragedy took place in Youghal Harbour when a young boy and close neighbour of mine lost his life.
During the course of those tragic few days and its aftermath, I watched and observed Canon Browne on how he was such a comfort and inspiration to the parents and brother of that boy and I quickly came to the conclusion that we had a very special Priest in our midst.
Over the years my friendship with the Canon has grown.
He is a man of tremendous ability, vision and foresight.
Since coming to the Parish of Youghal he has quickly demonstrated his capacity, ability, dedication and commitment to advancing the various renovations and building projects within the parish.
The admiration and respect which he has earned for his whole – hearted dedication to the thirteen parishes that he has administered in over the past fifty years has become legendary.
Canon Browne leads by example, every parishioner is very special to HIM and every single one of them in his view deserves and receives the very Best Spiritual Attention and Care. He is with us in our joys and sorrows. The children, the old, the sick and the poor experience his kindness and charity.
He is renowned for his friendly hand shake, kind words, and lovely smile. He has impeccable communication skills.
When in doubt or in trouble we ALL seek advice and guidance from him and it is always readily available.
Free of Charge I Might Add!!!
Canon Browne ……….. Over the last fifty years you have been a wonderful example for priesthood, you have been a good and faithful servant to the thirteen parishes in which you have lived and administered in, you are a credit to your Church, you family and to the Diocese of Cloyne.
We thank you most sincerely for everything that you have achieved in the interests of All Christian Men and Women.
Long may your Ministry Continue
In my thinking the following puts your life in context as a Humble Man, a Devoted Priest and a Truly Great Servant of God.
To live in the midst of the world
Without wishing its pleasures.
To be a member of each family
Yet belonging to none.
To share all sufferings
To penetrate all secrets,
To heal all wounds.
To go from
Man to God and offer
Him their prayers,
To return from God to Man.
To bring pardon and hope.
To have a heart of fire for charity
And a heart of bronze for chastity.
To teach and to pardon
Console and Bless always.
My God what a life!
And it is yours
A priest of Jesus Christ.
You will find as you look back upon your priestly life that the moments you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the Spirit of Love.
Service of God and the neighbour, you have shown us as something happy and joyous. We pray to God through his Blessed Mother to reward you for your service to us as our Parish Priest, service to us in the spiritual and temporal spheres.
May he preserve you in health and vigour with us for many years.
We bless you and rejoice with you for all your achievements over the past fifty years, but again we emphasise that tonight we want to regard you as our much loved Parish Priest