FR. Ray Kelly returned to his native Tyrrellspass on Friday evening last to celebrate the joyful occasion of the 25th anniversary of his Ordination to the priesthood.
In mellow mid-summer sunshine the local community came together to celebrate Fr. Kelly’s Silver Jubilee, an evening of prayer, song and friendship.
Affectionately known as ‘the singing priest,’ Fr. Kelly became an over night sensation when a YouTube video of him singing the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah” went viral.
Fr. Kelly was joined by a large number of his friends and family to celebrate a personal milestone in his own life on Friday night last. Fr. Kelly is Parish Priest in Oldcastle, Co. Meath but he comes from Tyrrellspass, where he is a popular and very familiar native son.
He returned to the village of his cradling on Friday night last to share in celebrations of the 25th anniversary of his Ordination.
The evening began with Mass in St. Stephen’s Church before refreshments were served in Tyrrellspass Castle.
It was an occasion that Fr. Kelly said “he would always remember.” Large numbers were present throughout the evening as many of Fr. Kelly’s friends from Tyrrellspass and the surrounding areas came to congratulate him. Local children sang during the Mass in St. Stephen’s Church and the Clara Choir were visitors for the occasion.
To the delight of the crowds present, there were songs from Fr. Kelly himself before the evening drew to a close.
Fr. Kelly shot to international acclaim when a video of him singing his own version of “Hallelujah” was released on YouTube last April and quickly went viral. He is presently in negotiations for a recording contract and has appeared on The Late Late Show and on German and American television shows.
Last Friday night, his homecoming to Tyrre-llspass was a cheerful evening that saw “the singing priest” at home and among friends. Fr. Kelly said that he would like to express his deepest thanks to the the people of Tyrrellspass and the surrounding areas for their support and friendship and for their company in helping him to celebrate his Silver Jubilee.