(1939-2015; died November 6th).
MILLTOWN PARK NOVEMBER 9TH 2015.
Entrance: Confitemini Domino ,
Confitemini Domino, Alleluia
Reading: Isaiah 43: 1-7.
Even in the darkness, You are near,
Your right hand holds me fast,
Your right hand holds me fast.
Gospel: Mark 4:35-41.
We come here in sadness and thanks.
Sadness – so much more to give has been
taken from us. In thanks for the huge
contribution one man made to the
greater glory of God and for the
happiness of many people. He will be
missed, particularly Ireland and Rome.
We gather the prayers and good wishes
and sadness of so many here this night.
From Bellarmino, Viet-Nam, UCD, USA
courses, early days in Clongowes and
Readings were about the spirit of prayer
and motivation. From the inside comes
the work! From this devotion to Christ
and to prayer came Michael Paul’s
ministry. May I recall one or two
The lady whose children had stopped
going to Mass and was she annoyed?
Upset? A long condemnatory chat about
them and the school etc. A pause. MP
said something like you seem to be very
concerned about them. Yes! Are you
that comes from
concern is your
love for them –
which you want
them to have
what you have from faith. They will find
their own way but keep being concerned
for them. That is what God wants. In the
middle of the darkness his own and
others’ he saw the light, he could find a
positive in every negative. She went
away encouraged to love her children
which she had been doing for years, and
really leave their faith alone!
He did not judge. He had an openness to
people I often envied in Monkstown
days. I might be at high doh about
someone and I would know from his
grunt or sort of harrumph, that he agreed
with me but saw more to the person, or
that we might move on from petty
annoyance. One person getting his grunts
recently was Flannery O’Connor whom
he admired a lot but felt he should have
words with. His genuine openness –
born of prayer and his friendship with
Jesus Christ, and long listening. He lived a
high density of the love of God. He will
enjoy that now. May he continue to
inspire us now as he did in life?
Our readings – trust in the time of
danger. Through waters and fire,- he had
much of that in three bouts of serious
illness. In the last weeks he went through
darkness and light – our psalm; he was
distressed the last few days – I said call
now on the graces of the last months,
and don’t be afraid. He maybe needed the
encouragement on Friday night to let go!
So the gospel, the storm at sea, and the
presence of the Lord he loved even when
the Lord seems not caring.
A word has to be said that he wrote a
book till the end. His computer got stuck
and he couldn’t edit it any more. He gave
me a memory stick, and then said, it is
done! The book, Into Extra Time, will
soon hit the shelves, but we will need
neither a memory stick nor a book to
remember him. It will mirror in words
and images an intellect that was always
in touch with the heart and with
imagination. The last weeks and months
were memorable for me and for many, as
were the long years of friendship, advice,
good fun, prayer. We will never forget
Litany: (response Bernadette Farrell)
Saints of God in Glory, Be with us
Remain with us,
Sing praise with us, and pray with us
Our Father and Blessing
Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiæ,
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevæ,
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
misericordes oculos ad nos converte;
Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo
Please join us after the service for refreshments; an article by Michael Paul, The Prospect of
Dying, which was published in the November current Messenger will be available.
Born in Colooney, Sligo in 1939, Fr Michael Paul Gallagher joined the Society of Jesus
in 1961, after studies in France. Committed to a lifelong interest in the theology and
lived experience of faith, he worked as a lecturer in English in UCD where more than
half his time would have involved with the faith life of students on both a personal and
community level. He left UCD in 1986, beginning a career in Rome which lasted until
January 2015 when a returning cancer forced him home to Ireland. During the months
preceding his death he continued his apostolate of writing in many magazines and
has completed a book, ‘Into Extra Time’, soon to be published – his own journey
through illness to the last weeks before his death on November 6th. During the 25
years he worked in the Gregorian University, and lectured throughout the world. A
five-year stint in the Pontifical Commission for Unbelief tried both his patience and
love of the church, and he was glad in 1995, to return to academic and pastoral
ministry, in Rome, Ireland and elsewhere, and in his work as Spiritual Director in the
Gesu Scholastic House in Rome and later as Rector of the Bellarmino College. He will
be gratefully remembered by many in his home country, for both his contribution to
the lived life of faith in times of doubt and stress (his book Help my Unbelief – Veritas
1983, and Milltown lecture ‘Atheism Irish’ Style’ – ~Furrow 1974 – had significant
pastoral impact), and maybe as much for his hours of listening to human and faith
issues of young people. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.