Father McCarthy celebrates his 30th year as a visiting priest to St. Stephen's

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:49

WARWICK - A few minutes before the 5 p.m. Mass on Saturday, June 2, the Rev. Michael McLoughlin, pastor of the Parish of St. Stephen, the First Martyr, had good news for the congregation. He explained that some new parishioners might think the celebrant that evening was another newly assigned priest. But everyone else would recognize and welcome back the Rev. Flor McCarthy, who had just arrived from Ireland to spend his 30th consecutive summer in Warwick. “He’s served four pastors here and even lived in the Rectory when it was on South Street,” said McLoughlin. “And thanks to him, the priests who are assigned here have an opportunity to take some vacation time. Let’s give him a warm welcome home.” McCarthy is a Salesian priest living in Dublin who has worked as a catechist in second level schools in addition to serving parishes in Ireland. He is also the author of more than a few books, including “The Gospel of the Heart,” published in 2005. The parishioners at St. Stephen’s, however, know him as a talented homeliest who offers clear explanations in modern terms of gospels written more than 2,000 years ago. They also appreciate his natural Irish humor. Following the mass, he thanked McLoughlin for his kind words and mentioned that many people had asked him how things were going in Ireland, which has recently experienced a severe downturn in its economy. “On St. Patrick’s Day,” said McCarthy, “the Irish prime minister presented President Obama with a lovely bowel of shamrocks. It’s an old custom but this year the prime minister asked if he could have the bowel back.”