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Fond memories West Cork priest with incurable cancer bids farewell to parishioners in emotional video

Fr Gerald Galvin was appointed parish priest of Muintir Bháire near Durrus in West Cork in 2009, he said he had “no choice left” but to create the recording


A parish priest with incurable cancer has shared an emotional video online bidding farewell to his parishioners following the announcement of his retirement.

Fr Gerald Galvin was appointed parish priest of Muintir Bháire near Durrus in West Cork in 2009, he said he had “no choice left” but to create the recording.

According to the Irish Examiner, his retirement was officially announced by the Bishop of Cork and Ross, Fintan Gavin, late last week as part of a raft of priest changes, with Canon Martin O’Driscoll announced as the administrator of Muintir Bháire and parish priest of Bantry as part of the new Family of Parishes structure in the Bantry area.

Fr Galvin posted the video online on Sunday in which he issued an emotional goodbye. He said he has incurable cancer in his bones and lungs, is in pain and having difficulty sleeping.

He fondly remembered the warm welcome he received from the community and spoke of his joy of serving in the parish, mentioning communions, confirmations, baptisms and weddings and the “sorrow” of funerals and “heartbreak” of people’s death.

Fr Galvin said he had a great laugh with the community and learned a lot from them and from the children in the schools including the strength of faith.

“Their endless ability to surprise me is a wonderful thing,” he said

He fondly remembered the warm welcome he first received from the parish along with his father over a decade ago.

He thanked everyone for their spiritual and financial support over the years and during this difficult time in his life. He said: “Cancer will not be my life; cancer is not my life.”

Having spoken about healing over the years, he said he now understands it fully.

“I am healed and that means the taking away of fear, anger, resentment, self-pity, pain and much more - they are gone and they are replaced with hope and with love,” he said.

His final request was to ask people to pray for him, he said: “When you pray in the future, will you please remember me.”

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“I will treasure your prayers and I will never forget the people of this parish, the people of my parish. God bless you and thank you,” he said.

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