Tribute to the Late Fr. Kevin Scallon C.M. 24th June 2018
On the 24th June 2018, on the Feast of St. John the Baptist into the Feast of Our Lady appearing in Medjugorje on the 25th June 1981, Fr. Kevin departed this world to his Heavenly home with God. It is very fitting that Fr. Kevin died on this Feast day as he in his own way was a John the Baptist in our time.
I met Fr. Kevin for the first time in October 1974, I was entering All Hallows College where Fr. Kevin was Spiritual Director. I encountered his sense of humour instantly, I was carrying a shopping bag with my belongings to begin my entry to religious life, he said after brief introductions “I see you travel light-the sign of a true missionary”!! I replied it was the only bag available and I like your sense of humour”.
That was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. His quiet demeanour, was rooted in a deep faith and a life of prayer, which was the basis of his spirituality. He was totally at peace with God and himself. His humility was always evident, he didn’t like being in the limelight and would often bring others into the light, encouraging them to shine.
“Who counsels the counsellors and who cares for the carers”.
Fr.Kevin, after returning to Ireland from Nigeria with Malaria, was advised for medical reasons that his missionary days were over. God had other plans for him. He discerned this idea that he should start an Intercession for Priests. He sought advice from Bishop Dermot O’Mahony, RIP, who said to him "advertise it and if only two turn up- go with the two, it will grow over time”.
He advertised it and twelve turned up.
Just a week before he died he rang me and gave me the full account of how, through the Holy Spirit, Sr. Briege McKenna came to join him on the Intercession team.
It is a remarkable story and it is a tribute to his and Sr.Briege’s faithfulness and perseverance that 42 years on, the Intercession for Priests continues to grow across the world. In his great wisdom and humility, he assembled a dedicated team to continue this work. He would often say “there will come a day when I won’t be here and the work must continue”. It is with great sadness that day is here now.
He had a remarkable spiritual understanding with Sr. Briege, he shared with me that over the 42 years they never had a cross word or misunderstanding. He would often joke that his burning ambition was to sell as many CDs and DVDs as she did!!
Little did I think that that conversation would be our last. On behalf of our worldwide Divine Mercy Community our condolences to his family, Sr.Briege McKenna, Gemma and Triona, Fr. Jack Finnegan and the whole intercessory team, and wider priestly family. I ask that we keep them all in our prayers through this very sad passing of our beloved friend and mentor Fr. Kevin.
He had a beautiful memorial Mass in St Peter’s Church, Phibsboro at 12 noon 5th July celebrated by his nephew Fr. Pascal Scallon, CM, Provincial of the Vincentian Order. 50 priests from the Intercession concelebrated, before his final journey to his home place in Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh for burial on the 6th July.
Well done good and faithful servant now enter into the place prepared for you in the Heavenly Kingdom”.
Ar Dheis De go raibh a Anam dilis.
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