By Mairead Tuohy Duffy

Who comes to our homesteads,
When trouble haunts our lives?
When aged folks are dying,
Or the passing of a child.

Who pours the blessed water,
Baptising new born babes,
Offering holy mass each morning.
Who takes the good Lord’s place?

Who lifts his hands in blessing,
With the angels all around,
Watched by our blessed Mother,
The Queen of Heaven crowned.

Who lives alone, all on his own
Away from friends and kin,
Yet always there to answer calls,
From local women and men.

Who sits each week in confessional,
In Winter cold or Spring,
Consoling us, our troubled souls,
How many think of him?

He too is only human,
With aches like you and me,
He feels the pangs of loneliness,
But hides his pain and grief.

Yet ere we leave this world of clay,
Journeying towards Heaven’s land,
Let’s hope we see his welcome face,
And the touch of his blessed hand.

Who is this one so precious,
With a smile, he’ll always greet,
Who else but God’s own messengers.
Our own beloved priests.

Yet just because some of them stray,
Two per cent or three,
Why should we blame,
The rest who care,
Vengeance in word or deed.

If each one just remembered,
The Lord’s own word I’ll quote,
Let he, who is without a sin,
Aim to throw the very first stone.

Who helped our folks in former days,
By the Mass Rocks of our land
Dying they, yet kept the faith,
Led on by a priestly hand.

And still today in missions grey,
They toil from west to east.
Who else is there with spiritual care,
Our Brothers, Nuns, and Priests.

Máiréad Tuohy Duffy ©1996