29th July 1999
Fr.Vincent Hodnett talks to
.... Continued from last week.
What do I like about my work as a Priest?
An essential part of my work is the visitation and the meeting of people in their homes. And Ive certainly seen the big change that has taken place over the past number of years. because in the old days you could visit houses at any time, but now because of the housewife having to work, come home to children and to make a dinner, and to do housework and everything it has become very hard. But I must say that during my time here in Douglas, and with so many new estates and young married couples there hasnt been a house that I havent got welcome in.
How do I switch off from my work?
I like walking. I like the time with children, especially in the Douglas under twelve hurling and football club which Ive become involved with. I would certainly like to have given more of my time to these teams. because again its contact with young people and I suppose one of the regrets is that I hadnt a whole lot of contact with teenagers. We havent the answer to their problems and difficulties. But I see our role as priests as journeying with them and encouraging them and above all being honest with them in telling them that we havent the answer to their problems.
My holidays? Usually I take sun holidays but last year I returned to Rome. It wasnt my first visit to Rome since I was ordained. I was back with my parents in 82. But I went to Rome last year for a week and I thoroughly enjoyed the visit
I try to go to the leisure centre. I love the game of golf, but my golf is confined to five or six games per year, and I always say to people thats my fault, its not the fault of my parish priest or the fault of too much work its just that Im not organised. but certainly love the game.
Im also a great follower of the soccer. Ive great love for Manchester United. I suppose that began many years ago as a young fellow and it certainly developed when Denis Irwin and also Roy Keane became involved with Manchester United because Denis Irwin was an alter boy of mine when I was stationed in Togher Parish. I usually make an annual visit to Old Trafford and Denis always looks after me, so far as he gives me tickets to the players lounge after the game.
In music my favourite always was Country and Western. The rest of my family seem to be very musical in so far as they can play the accordion, guitar. tin whistle and many instruments. I havent got the talent. I can remember when I was a young boy in primary school in the Convent I began the piano and after a few weeks the nun the late Sr. Brendan told my mother I would be better off with a hurley in my hand than playing the piano.
In the last few years because of my love for the accordion which grew from Dermot OBrien, I got the loan of my sisters accordion only last year and I have every intention of trying to take it up, but again maybe its like many other things. I have great intentions but I dont bring them to fruition.
Last year I got a free ticket to Les Mes in Dublin and I thoroughly enjoyed that in so far as its the only tape Ive been playing in my car since then. And its a show that I would like to see again.
As we move into the jubilee year of our Lord. Personally I would like to, in my own life because of busy schedules to, try and have a little bit more time for myself with the Lord in prayer.
With regard to the people I would like to see lay people becoming more involved in the running of the Church, and running of the Parish. For too long I feel that we speak about lay people becoming involved but we are very slow to encourage them and to push them into a role that is theirs because of baptism.
I still think that visitation of the homes should be a priority in our lives. Again recognising that it is very hard work, it is one of the ways in which we can meet people and get to know them and them to get to know you. Because of the size of Parishes and so few priests nowadays its not possible to get around to the homes as often as we would like. Id also like to see more encouragement of our youth. I always said that we had problems that our young people are facing in this world and thats why I would like to see my role as a priest encouraging them and journeying with them not solving their problems, because again we havent half the answers to their problems.
While I thanked publicly at all Masses last weekend the people of Douglas and my fellow priests I would like to do so again, and to say a sincere word of thanks to every man woman and child in this parish, for their love, care, encouragement and the help that they gave me over the past three years. Its a great Parish, like all parishes there is plenty of work still to be done. I would also like to thank Fr. ORegan and my fellow priests, past and present for their help and encouragement. While I am sad to be leaving Douglas after such a short period of time with you. I look forward to the challenge facing me in Blackpool.
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