By Sean Ryan - 22 December, 2015
Singing priest sensation Fr Ray Kelly has said that he really enjoyed making his new album entitled ‘An Irish Christmas Blessing’.
The 62-year-old native of Tyrellspass in Co Westmeath shot to global fame in 2014 after a video of him singing the Leonard Cohen classic ‘Hallelujah’ at the church wedding of Chris and Leah O’Kane went viral, with nearly 50 million views to date.
The video catapulted Fr Kelly to overnight stardom and now he juggles life as a singer with his church duties in Oldcastle, Co Meath where he has been parish priest since 2006.
Speaking to the Sunday World newspaper, Fr Kelly said that while he has a very busy life he is really enjoying his work.
“Personally I’ve enjoyed my priesthood. It’s a privileged position because as a priest we are thrown into the deep end of life with people, their joys and their sorrows.”
Fr Kelly said that he was a late entrant to the priesthood, something he would recommend to anyone thinking of joining.
He added, “I grew up in the village of Tyrrellspass and got a job in the civil service when I was 17 or 18. As time went on, I put down roots. I had my own house in Dublin, a car and I was quiet secure.”
However he said, “I was constantly grappling with the idea of becoming a priest.”
He added, “Eventually I went to talk to somebody and I got direction from there. When I announced it at home, it was a bit surprising for my parents and family but they just accepted it and said ‘if it’s what you want to do, go ahead and do it.’ But I do think it was good to have the experience of life first.”
Fr Ray released his debut album where I belong in November 2014.
Now his second album entitled ‘An Irish Christmas Blessing’ also comes under the auspices of Universal Music Label and is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-time collaborator Nigel Wright.
Among the songs featured on the album are ‘Little Drummer Boy’, ‘When A Child Is Born’, ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ and ‘Silent Night’.