Double-0’Kielty

Shaking with emotion, his fingers clutching tight
The vessel sacred, slowly raised it to the light

His eyes with pure devotion, gazing upon his Lord
Who through his ceaseless service, His Grace on us he poured

Tear-streaked he smiled slowly, adored with bended knee
A soft “Céad míle fáilte” between the Host and he

Who was this humble servant, who marched with double cane
And paused in deep devotion at Pádraig’s colored pane?

Born in County Mayo, the green and red was his first home
Til as a priest, clad in white, Seamus began to roam

Warrior of God and man, he served with steadfast zeal
Our fighting men in jungles red he sought to teach and heal

Until at last to us he came, our homes and children blest
That he might serve and be recalled when ceased his earthly quest

He absolved us from our failures, spoken or forgot
With three Ave’s or a hymn, His grace to us he brought

“Go to her” he hoarsely pleaded, close behind the screen
Countless days and miles trod, countless souls made clean

He’d offer us a handshake, a hidden handful of cash
And re-baptize the unsuspecting in a sudden holy splash

“Secret” christenings and weddings, known but unopposed
A myriad of jokes and jabs, from which he deftly chose

Twinkling eyes and double canes, he shuffled through our days
Until his burning sun was set, no more to shine its rays

But brightly burns the love he lived, for both young and old
Ever ancient, somehow new, his final peal has tolled

Priest forever, rest easy now, as we recall and pray
As when you lived you did for us upon the beads each day

God has granted, as we would as you shuffled to the door,
Your final salute, and request for “permission to go ashore”

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