Tribute to Fr Finan.
A cornucopia of gifts; eloquence, friendliness, humour, kindness and wisdom were his essence but at the heart of all lay the gift of Priesthood. Added to his knowledge of St. Augustine and Aquinas was his ability to penetrate the language of Pop and Rock music and find in them the subtext of spirituality, imagery and human longing.
To his students at St. Nathy’s he would unveil the great beauty of language. He once asked a third year class to ‘compare and contrast, John Donne, ‘No Man is an Island’ with Simon and Garfunkel, ‘I am a Rock, I am an Island’. ‘Did a boy yawn in my class?’ he asked. He would draw on the Jazz and Blues music of Ronnie Scotts, the stormy seas and skies of Turner, the Neo-Impressionism of Seurat and Modern Art style that allowed the image to evolve spontaneously on the canvas. Who indeed could yawn in his class?
In his final heroic days silence and stillness descended.
Through his priesthood he communicated faith, discipleship and the great diversity of grace and life. He had a solemn sense of priesthood in his ministry in this community and in the parish of St. Joan of Arc, Highbury, London, where he ministered for thirty years during his summer breaks from teaching. Small places are blessed to have gifted and spiritual priests in their midst.
This was the gift given to us in Ballaghaderreen and in St. Nathy’s College for thirty one years in the person of Fr. Andrew Finan.
May he rest in peace.
By A Friend.