|Fr Kelly of Dunvant Parish|
Just to know that Masses, Rosaries and prayers were going up from across Wales, Ireland, England and elsewhere meant so much. I know it sounds emotive to any casual blog reader, but when in pain and at your lowest ebb these things can make all the difference and provide the support needed to get you through pain to see the better day that follows.
There is also a special mention to a very special soul who this trying time brought me into contact with: Swansea, Dunvant-based priest Fr. Kelly, who's vocation is to visit the patients of Singleton Hospital.
On my first night in the hospital, circa 10.30pm I was sitting pondering the operation the next day when a white-haired head popped around the door and called "Goodnight God Bless." I called after the figure and so received Communion that night. Had I not had Confession a few days before I am sure Fr Kelly would have been happy to hear that too.
Indeed this kindly and charitable soul came to me on every day and it meant that almost every day I could receive Holy Communion (one day I could not because despite visiting twice that day, Fr Kelly either found me in too much pain or asleep).
Indeed last Monday when visiting, Fr Kelly bumped into me in the corridor in some considerable pain and still offered to help me, such was his concern.
I really have nothing but praise for this wonderful man of God whose calling enables him to give so much hope, joy and comfort to those in pain, worrying, recovering, alone etc. To see his smiling face, hear him blessing the patients and staff, as they in turn would call "goodnight Father" after the silver haired priest all in black, it is one of most endearing memories of my stay in hospital and always brings a smile to my face.
A fellow patient told me that Fr Kelly had been there for his own mother when she was in the hospital some decades before. She had said to the visiting priest when asked 'are you Catholic?': "I used to be." The priest replied that 'once a Catholic always a Catholic' and sat with her to offer help and so on.
It reminds one of how the Catholic Priesthood can still mean a great deal, can bring so much succour to souls in need, is still (despite media assaults and rare scandals) a truly Holy Calling.
Even now when I get pains or am weary as I recover, the smiling face and truly charitable nature of the kindly Fr Kelly truly lifts my soul. If ever a man was sent by Our Lord and Our Lady to help those who need it I think Fr Kelly is that man.
Our diocese, our country and our Faith is very lucky to have such a priest.
Thank you and God Bless you Fr Kelly of Dunvant Parish. You and your vocation will always be in my prayers.
Diocese History of Fr Kelly on his 60th Anniversary of the Priesthood (Read his fascinating story of being a Seminarian in wartime France, being ordained in post-war Palestine and more).