By Sean Ryan - 09 August, 2015
More than 150 past students from a former seminary in Co Tipperary will attend a major reunion this week.
The priests, who are past students of St Patrick’s College in Thurles, will gather in the town for the tenth such gathering of former students between 11-13 August.
With upwards of 500 priests from St Patrick’s College ministering throughout the English-speaking world, this week’s gathering is a very international affair.
In an interesting development, and for the first time ever, former students who did not reach ordination have also been invited back to the College, with some men who studied there as far back as 1965 set to attend.
The highlight of the international reunion is a concelebrated Mass in the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles at 11am on Thursday 13 August.
The main celebrant will be the Archbishop of Cashel &Emly, Dr Kieran O’Reilly SMA, who will be joined by the retired Archbishop, Dr Dermot Clifford, and the retired Bishop of Waterford & Lismore, Dr William Lee, who is a former president of the College.
The homily will be delivered by Fr Michael Gleeson from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
A native of Loughtagalla in Thurles, Fr Gleeson was ordained in 1975.
Speaking about the reunion to CatholicIreland.net, College President Fr Tom Fogarty said, “This will be our tenth reunion. They started in 1970 and take place every five years. We are very excited about it and we are so thrilled to celebrate it every five years.”
“We are very proud of our alumni and we send our magazine Luceat to them each year as well as Christmas cards. It is very important to remember our past students and to stay in touch with them and support them. This event helps to cement the relationship and it is very enjoyable for everyone involved.”
St Patrick’s College in Thurles functioned as a seminary for training priests from 1837 until 2001.
Today it operates as a teacher training college under the auspices of the University of Limerick and offers teaching degrees for post primary teachers in Business & Religion, Irish & Religion, Irish & Business and Business & Accounting.