We send good wishes to Canon Philip Connolly who celebrates his 94th birthday this weekend (27th November 2022). Born in November 1928, Canon Phil, as he is popularly known, is the oldest priest in the Diocese of Clogher. The middle child of a family of 13 children, 7 boys and 6 girls, he lived on a farm worked by his mother and father Mary Elizabeth and Peter Connolly near Latton. Canon Phil entered St. Patrick’s Maynooth in 1948, and was ordained a priest in June 1955. He ministered in Garrison (1955-58), Mulleek (1958-62), Castleblayney (1962 -64), Doohamlet (1964-66), Clones (1966-67), Clogher (1967-69) and Tydavnet (1969-84), and since then has been ministering as PP of Clontibret 1984-2004, until his retirement. We have very fond memories of him in the parish, his involvement in all that was good in the area, and we wish him a very happy birthday.
Here we reproduce a tribute ( (one of 2) to Fr Phil Connolly composed by the late Tydavnet poet Terence O’Gorman.
A quarter century ago it’s been
Since the Master beckoned follow me
How well worthwhile was this man’s assent
Plainer than ever now to see.
To the converted he often preached
Any doubting one convinced before long
As he spoke by example as much as words
Propelled by a faith, mighty strong.
Heaven we thank as we see him now
Contemplate this man amongst men
Heaven we pray to spare him long
Where would we get his like again?
All praise for the mother who gladly bore
Two sons to the sacred life with a will
In time with vocations alas too scarce
What a wondrous role we see her fill.
So raise a cheer for this great priest
On his second twenty five setting out
His courage and sang-froid will see him through
Smiling his way through it all no doubt.
Away long after the golden date
Our wish that his days may long extend
In a century now, may he still famed
As everyone’s loving, debonair friend.