A sad farewell in Tagoat for 'a priest's priest'

bY dAVID TUCKER

The late Fr Matt Glynn.
The late Fr Matt Glynn.

THE COMMUNITY of Tagoat, and the wider Wexford, both temporal and pastoral, said a sad farewell on Friday to 'a priest's priest' - Fr Matt Glynn who died last week at the age of 77.

There was a large attendance at the concelebrated funeral mass for Fr Matt said by Bishop Denis Brennan in Tagoat Church, with many of his fellow priests from the Ferns Diocese and other dioceses in Ireland and some from the United States attending.

Parishioners from the three parishes in which he had ministered were there also.

Music was provided by the church choir and students from St Mary's primary school.

In a very personal homily, with many anecdotes, Bishop Denis Brennan said he had got to know Matt very well when he was Superior of the House of Missions in Enniscorthy and Matt was a priest in St Aidan's parish.

He referred to his learning and great knowledge and interest over a wide range of subjects and acknowledged his great work in the restoration of St Aidan's Cathedral.

He also said that Matt had a great fraternity with his fellow priests.

During his address at the funeral, his brother Jarlath said that if asked to choose a word to describe Matt, it would be loyalty. His two great traits were loyalty to his family and friends and loyalty to his priestly ministry.

He also said that on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his ordination at a gathering in Tagoat, Fr Matt said that for him the most important aspect of priestly ministry was service to people. Much of his priestly ministry focussed on those who were ill and bereaved.

Jarlath concluded by saying that over the last few months many people across the county had told him of the help and kindness he gave to them and their families in difficult times. He thanked those within an outside the parish for their kindness and support during his brother's short illness.

Fr Matt, a native of Wexford town, born in 1940, was the eldest son of the late Michael and Helena Glynn.

Educated at the Presentation Primary School and St Peter's College, Wexford, he entered St Peter's seminary in 1958 and was ordained in St. Patricks's College, Maynooth in 1964

His first appointment was to Castledockrell/Marshastown. He became a curate in Enniscorthy in 1969 and was to serve the people of the town for the next 22 years, becoming Parish Administrator in 1989.

One of his greatest achievements and proudest moments was the restoration of Pugin's St Aidan's Cathedral to its former splendour.

He had a keen interest in church architecture and assembled a team of specialist builders, architects and other restoration experts to bring the project to a successful conclusion.

Bishop Brennan said no appreciation of Matt's life would be complete without reference to Augustus Welby Pugin on whom he was an authority and often travelled to England to see examples of the famous architect's work.

Having spent most of his life as a priest in two Pugin churches, St Aidan's Cathedral in Enniscorthy and St Mary's here in Tagoat, he was immersed in Pugin's work and how he visualised his buildings speak of the beauty and presence of God. 'This knowledge was invaluable some years ago in researching the refurbishment of St Aidan's Cathedral and I have always admired how Canon Matt, Fr Bobby Nolan, and the hardworking Refurbishment Committee combined their talents to deliver such a fine result without any of the controversy which often accompanies the restoration of Cathedrals,' Bishop Denis told the congregation at Fr Matt's funeral.

'Matt could be described as "a priest's priest." He was a regular attender at priest's reunions at home and abroad and was never happier than when swapping banter and memories on such occasions.'

He had a questioning mind and was a voracious reader since his youth. He had an immense knowledge over a wide range of subjects. His interests included literature, history, theatre, art and outdoor pursuits to name but a few. Because his interests were so varied he had a wide range of acquaintances. He also had a keen interest in shooting and fishing and developed many close friends through these interests

Predeceased by his parents, his brother Niall and sister Mary, he is sadly missed by Jarlath, his sister Honor, sisters-in-law Louisa and Susan, niece Emma, nephews Conor and Michael and his extended family and friends and is mourned by Bishop Denis and his brother priests in the Ferns Diocese.

Wexford People