Well-known priest launches book in Burt

Fr. Carlin releases ‘They That Wait on the Lord’

Fr. Neal Carlin.A POPULAR Inishowen priest proudly launched his new book, which highlights his eventful life, this week.

On Tuesday night Fr. Neal Carlin displayed his new book, ‘They That Wait on the Lord’, to a packed audience, which included Bishop Donal McKeown, at An Grianán Hotel in Burt.

In the book, Fr. Carlin reflects on an eventful journey travelled in faith, that took him to America and Mexico to experience emerging new communities and houses of prayer, and led to the foundation of the Columba Community in his home city in the midst of The Troubles.

As the story of the Columba Community unfolds, the reader gets an insight into the person of Burnfoot-based Fr Carlin, from the formation of his faith in childhood to his ordination to the priesthood, and his ever developing openness thereafter to being led by the Holy Spirit.

Some reflections written by Fr. Neal over the years have been included in the work, and give us an insight into his love of nature and the Celtic soul, which sees God in all things. He seems to see the sacred and the hand of God in the ordinary.

Celebrating fifty years in the priesthood, Fr Neal also shares his vision for the Church of the future and his hope that small basic communities, like the Columba Community, will “sprout up all over Ireland, like small springs to again irrigate this holy land of ancient saints and scholars”.

‘It is truly wonderful, dare I say, miraculous, to see and hear of such vibrant and active faith after all that Ireland has gone through! There is a deeper level of Listening and seeing that will always be true despite the movements of history and the suffering we impose on one another. Here is that deeper level!’

Ordained in 1964, Fr Neal Carlin spent his early priesthood in Scotland before returning home to minister in Derry, at the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. He felt the Holy Spirit guiding him into the ministry of peace and reconciliation and went on to found Columba House, a centre for prayer, healing and reconciliation. This led to the creation of the Columba Community in 1980, which many regard as a model for the renewal of the Irish Church, and then to the development of St Anthony’s Retreat Centre, White Oaks Rehabilitation.

‘They that Wait on the Lord’ is published by The Columba Press priced €19.99/£16.99