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Fr Tierney celebrates his silver jubilee

FR Bennet Tierney was ordained a priest on Christmas Eve, 1985 and he marked the 25-year milestone by celebrating the 12.15pm mass at Ss John and Paul Church last Sunday.
He is a son of Nancy Tierney from Coill Mhara and a brother of Maeve Kirwan. Although he has lived abroad for over 30 years, Fr Tierney is still a regular visitor to Shannon.
While he has worked and lived in many countries, Germany is now his base. “I’ve been there for the last 12 years and I love it, although it’s very hard work. I’m responsible for family pastoral in four dioceses, basically that means anything to do with the family,” he says.
In PR terms, the clergy have taken a battering over the last few years but Fr Tierney says he is still very glad he signed up.
“I’m absolutely thrilled that I joined and I’ve never been as convinced about my vocation and the priesthood. I love what I’m doing and I’m very happy. It does have its ups and downs but I’m very happy.”
He has seen a lot of the world and lived in several countries. “I’m 56 now and I’ve been gone for the last 35 years. Most of my life has been spent in the missions, basically in places like Mexico, Brazil and Ghana. I’ve also spent many years in Spain and Italy.”
Fr Tierney is a professor of genetics and was involved in the establishment of the John Paul II institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in the Mexican city of Monterrey. He was also involved in the establishment of a centre for entrepreneurs there.
Travelling throughout the world has inevitably brought a certain amount of challenges but he says people are much the same all over the world.
“I’ve enjoyed everything. I’ve had a lot of new experiences and at times there have been difficulties to overcome. When I got to Germany there were difficulties for the first few months and when you go to a new place it can take a few months to understand people and their culture and ways but you find that human nature is the same all over the place. I love Germany now and I also loved the other countries.”
Fr Tierney will be leaving again for Germany in the coming days.

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