By Sean Ryan - 19 May, 2016
A Catholic priest based in the Diocese of Limerick will take a leap of faith this weekend when he jumps from the sky to raise funds for his local parochial house.
Fr Tom Mangan, who is Parish Priest of Donaghmore, which is about 15 miles from Limerick City, will take part in a sky dive with 12 others this week at Abbeyshrule airfield in Co Longford.
Speaking to catholicireland.net, Fr Mangan said that he is “currently unable to live in the parochial house in Donaghmore due to its poor conditions – so I live in rented accommodation some miles away.”
“I would like to live in the parish as locals like to see their parish priest residing there but that is not possible at the moment.”
He said that “the parish has only one priest and two churches as well as a small chapel in a school so it would make things a lot easier to live here. Having said that, I do get great help from the locals and from a retired priest who helps out with Sunday mass.”
Speaking about the current condition of the parochial house he said that it is “full of wet and dry rot. There is basically no insulation. The house is also a listed building so we are hoping to get it delisted and build a new house there using materials from the old one.”
Fr Mangan is no stranger to fundraising initiatives in the parish and recently took part in a ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ competition for a local golf course which is based in his parish.
“They offered me honorary membership when I came to the parish so I couldn’t very well refuse to take part in a fundraiser.”
He added “It was from Strictly that a group of us decided we would do the skydive.”
The skydive on Sunday which is entitled ‘Flying High for Fr Tom’ will see Fr Mangan accelerate from 0 to 100 miles per hour in five seconds after jumping out of the plane.
After free falling for 25 seconds the parachute will open at 5,000 feet and he will glide safely to the ground.
Asked if he is bothered by the dive he jokingly, he responded “No, it will be grand.”
The skydive takes place in Abbeyshrule Co Longford on 22 May.