Fr Eoin Casey celebrated his first Mass as a Dominican priest in a packed Holy Trinity Church, Rathdowney at 12 noon last Sunday.
Flanked by members of the Dominican Order, as well as his uncle Fr Martin Casey, Fr Martin Delaney PP Rathdowney and Fr Jackie Robinson, PP Borris-in-Ossory, the 28-year old returned to his native parish following his ordination on Saturday.
He was one of eight members of the Dominican Order ordained on Saturday at Saint Saviour's Dominican Church at Dominick Street, Dublin.
The ordaining prelate was Archbishop Robert Rivas, O.P., a native of Trinidad.
Among the attendance on both days were Eoin's parents, Assumpta and John, brother Martin, family, neighbours and friends.
Taking special place in Rathdowney on Sunday was Eoin's 95-year old grandmother, who travelled from her native Causeway, in north Kerry to see her grandson and and the second member of her family ordained a priest.
Opening the Mass on Sunday, Fr Martin Delaney PP noted that it had been 41-years since a member of the Rathdowney parish had been ordained. On that occasion it was Michael John Campion, who is currently based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
In his homily Fr John Harris OP, Regent of Studies for the Dominicans in Ireland, recalled how Eoin told him of his intention to become a priest at a Youth 2000 gathering in Cairns, Australia in 2008.
Eoin subsequently joined the Dominicans at the age of 21, after briefly causing Fr Harris some anxiety when he initially told him he would also consult with his Diocesan Bishop.
Fr Harris paid tribute to Eoin and his family, and wished him well in his ministry.
Speaking towards the end of the ceremony, Fr Eoin traced his own journey to the priesthood and the people and places that had played a part in it.
He highlighted the influence of his family and his parents John and Assumpta, his uncle and neighbours and friends throughout his life.
He had known three grandparents in his life, and he paid special mention to his one surviving grandmother who had the privilege of attending his first Mass.
He also thanked Fr John Harris and his fellow Dominicans. Fr Martin Delaney PP was thanked for his work, particularly in organising the Faithfest festival which took place in the Rathdowney parish in the run up to Eoin's ordination.
Eoin also thanked the Rathdowney choir and Vincent Crowley who provided music for the Mass.
Following Mass, members of the public were invited to come forward for an individual blessing, and this concluded around 4pm.
Speaking afterwards, Eoin's father, John Casey thanked everyone for their attendance and recalled Eoin's departure from college to enter the priesthood.
His uncle, Fr Martin, a well known hurler in his day in Wexford, wished his nephew well in his ministry.
Fr Eoin will commence his life as priest in Newbridge.