FETHARD CURATE’S SILVER JUBILEE
A community celebration for a community curate was how a parishioner from Killusty described the occasion. The public celebration started with a con-celebrated Mass at 8.p.m. in the Fethard Parish
Church and the celebrant was Fr. John Stapleton who was celebrating the Silver Jubilee of his
Fr. Stapleton who was ordained in 1961 con-celebrated the Mass with three priests who were natives of the parish of Fethard and Killusty, some of the Augustinians from the Friary in Fethard and Fr. Tony Lambe, C.C. Fethard, who was accompanied by Fr. Jim Nash, P.P. Mullinahone.
At a parish party, following the ecumenical service, Fr. Stapleton was presented with the proceeds of a collection to mark his silver jubilee and a dinner service.
Tom Butler, Chairman of Fethard and Killusty Community Council, paid a special tribute to Fr.Stapleton for his commitment and work in the parish since he arrived in Fethard and Killusty 11 _ years ago. He was a founder member of Fethard and Killusty Community Council and according to Tom Butler is still very much involved with Community affairs.
The popularity of the curate who is well known for promoting the community spirit was well and truly reflected at the party. A member of the community made a beautiful cake appropriately decorated to mark the silver jubilee, on condition that he or she could remain anonymous. The young and the old, the rich and the poor from Fethard and Killusty drank the tea and ate the cakes, sandwiches and all else available before the music started to take the floor. Again age or creed made no difference but as some parishioners slipped away with the night, many remained until the final note. Amongst those present were two of Fr Stapleton’s brothers and some of their families.
Fr John Stapleton, although a little nervous in the early stages, quickly settled down to enjoy his night once the formalities were completed. He was, he said, overwhelmed and full of gratitude with the parishioners special token of esteem.
Now almost twelve years in the parish of Fethard and Killusty. Father John is a former National President of Muintir na Tire and an ardent deciple of the late Canon Hayes. He has, since his ordination, devoted his attention to the community spirit and played an active part in community development in every parish he has served since his ordination 25 years ago. He is as much at home with the poor and underprivileged as he is with the well to do, and his farming background has enabled him to know, love and cherish rural Ireland, it’s people and their way.