People often ask me what my “legacy” will be.

Some even suggest or worry that this blog will be my legacy – and that it will not be a good legacy

But even the most famous of people are eventually forgotten or not talked about very much.

And, as Christians, should we not be more worried about our Judgement than our legacy?

At the same time I do understand that we do leave our mark on the world.

In the old days when it was normal to leave your empty milk bottles on the doorstep at night I always marvelled at the little silver trails left behind by the garden slugs.

And I’ve often thought and said:

“If the humble slug leaves its mark on the world then so should we”.

I have always loved Wordsworth’s lovely words:

“The greatest part of a good man’s life are his little, unremembered acts of kindness and of love”.

This comforts me because no matter what faults I have, and I have very many, I have always being very careful to do little acts of kindness and love.

And sometimes people remind me of something I did for them 30 years ago – something I have completely forgotten about – and say a little prayer that when God is finished totting up all my sins – he may go on to take note of the good I did.

Legacy – I think there are probably two aspects – what others think of you after you have gone – and what you think you have achieved with your life yourself.


I think we make a great mistake if we live our lives to please others.

People are so fickle. One day they will love you and the next they will hate you

So I think the best way to live your life is to think, speak and act as you would if Jesus Himself was there and watching you intently

The simple but also profound catch cry- WWJD – What Would Jesus do – is a very good guide for us Christians.

But I suppose people could make that very subjective.

Some people believe that Jesus always sends gay people to hell.

Others, like me, believe Jesus loves gay people as much as he loves all others.

I regard myself as having an enlightened and educated conscience.

And so I try and act in accordance with that.

When I’m gone some will pop a bottle of champagne 🍾.

Others will remember me kindly.

And maybe Lin-Manuel Miranda is right?


There are very few Nelson Mandela’s or Martin Luther King”s in the world.

Most of us leave a small mark in a small place, of any mark at all.

I count my blessings:

I have lived till three score and ten when three of my younger siblings have perished.

I have kept my Christian faith – by God’s grace.

I’ve stayed loyal to the priesthood for 46 years.

I’ve stood by my principles and convictions in the face of often fierce opposition.

I have tried to do all the good I could have done.

I sincerely regret all the mistakes I’ve made and all the sins I have committed.

I am unbelievably grateful to be still alive, still relatively healthy and still enjoying my vocation to love God and serve people.

Enemies will always see your legacy differently from your friends.

The Oratory – and I – already have a grave with a headstone on it.

There is already a quote on it which says:

Conscience is the aboriginal vicar of Christ”.

You could have a worse epitaph and legacy than:

He followed his enlightened and educated conscience”.




Has anyone told Malachy? He is still behaving like an Abbot! I have been told by a housemaster in the college that he has sent a 4 page letter to the school management about his expectations for the next academic year. The principal has been complaining about him to teachers and how he interfered in the timetabling of classes. He is still directing the board of governors about finances and fees. Malachy likes to be in charge, he will not surrender easily. The ‘resignation’ is a joke. Do not fool yourself.

In spite of the above it is good news to hear that Malachy Thompson has resigned as superior of Roscrea.

He was a close ally of Richard Purcell.

It looks to me as if the new Abbot General and his council have finally decided to clean out the disgraced Irish Cistercian stable.

We will watch the progress carefully.