Priest who walked


           with God


     "He who has guided many on the true path ,will shine like a star

                                          For all Eternity." 

There are many stories in our ethnic and national traditions in Ireland of brave priests who risked their lives to protect the Blessed Eucharist and who, during troubled times, said Mass by stealth on the "Mass rocks" that are to be found all over the country, fields, hills and in shady places.  However, the most poignant story of all, is that of the life and death of the legendary priest Fr. Gussie Carey, who heroically and without a moment's hesitation, "laid down his life for his friend".

  Fr Gussie was a man of many talents with an infectious sense of humour, who, wherever he went, left a trail of blessings behind him, and who, like the Joseph,  Moses and Samuel of the Bible, walked with God.  Who also from God's angle, saw everyone's problem, having the rare ability to see what he was looking at and to hear what was being communicated.  His life was in line with the will of God so he talked reality. When he did so, one listened with rapt attention, knowing that one was exposed to the generosity of a mental goldmine.   Being an artist to boot, he could detect the existence and the value of little things, and so, was ever attentive to the story in every human being whatever his station in life.  He made people who considered themselves to be very ordinary feel very special.

 Never was he to make anyone feel small, mean or inferior, having the gift like St. Barnabas, of holy encouragement, and so invariably invested people of all walks of life with a sense of personal value. We have a saying in Irish which he employed to the very best of his ability with astounding results : ' mol an oige agus tiocaid se ' -' praise a youth and he will respond'.

  How Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II and Billy Graham would have loved him!  He was complete in Christ, a balanced man devoid of fluctuating moods with none of the affectations of the near great, and one who never allowed himself to be crushed in the fell clutch of circumstance.  He was forever preaching humility, gratitude and love.  He deposited something of his own life in every person he met, and this was a powerful seed which would enrich that person's life and continue to bear much fruit.  He had the gift of being able to activate a dormant talent in a man's soul which when put to use, would add a new dimension to his life.

  Only the humble were grateful, he taught, and only the grateful were really happy.  If one wished to be unhappy, one should cultivate envy.

  He said one prayed constantly, when one never became impatient about anything or disappointed about not getting what one asked of God.

  "In His will our peace" Dante told us, and when one had acquired the wisdom of seeing God's hand in everything that happened in one's life, then and only then, did one pray constantly.  If one wanted to make God laugh, one had only to tell him what one planned on doing during the following year!.

  His heart was a tabernacle of the Word.

  A parish priest of Ballymacushla for 10 years, he always gave a huge welcome to the Anew McMaster Travelling Players whose arrival was a source of great excitement.  The village hall was festooned with bunting and the locals dressed in their Sunday best.

  That night they were staging East Lynne, and the anticipation and excitement were electric.  Halfway through the play, someone knocked over the paraffin heater by the entrance and the inevitable happened.  In seconds the place became an inferno.

  People stampeded, pushed, fell, screamed and finally succeeded in getting through the door, badly scarred but alive and trembling.

  Suddenly the roars of a huge man were heard coming from the rear of the timber building.  He had wedged himself in a small window and could neither be pulled forward nor could he go backwards.  In vain they tried to free him but no one would enter this conflagration.

  Then Fr. Gussie, wrapping a shawl around his head, suddenly dove through the bank of flame and was inside.  Just then, with a loud groan, the whole roof collapsed and the place was totally engulfed in fire.  Not a hope of success.

  Ballymacushla never recovered from the effects of this appalling tragedy.

  They laid both bodies to rest in the little cemetery by the lake, and the inscription on the Celtic Cross - now half  smothered in a drift of daises - foretold the destiny of their beloved

Fr. Gussie.

  "He who has guided many

  On the true path,

  Will shine like a star

  For all Eternity".

  And so,

 Fr. Augustine John Carey, 

 aged 39, would always be: 

Their Priest.

 Si Monumentum Requiris Circumspice.

 (If  you seek a monument, look around you!) 

 The gift of hearing is a precious gift.  But it is only with the heart that we can hear rightly.  The cry of a needy person may reach our ears, but unless it reaches our heart we will not feel the person's pain, and it is unlikely that we will respond.  And the gift of speech IS A PRECIOUS GIFT.  But again it is only with the heart that we can speak rightly.  For our words to ring true, they must come from the heart.  If they come only from the lips, they will have a hollow sound and will have little effect.  They will be like a wind that ruffles the surface of the water but leaves the depths untouched.  But the words that come from the heart, ENTER THE HEART.


The Lord Jesus Christ was a man of action.   He DID things as He taught about them.   The Bible tells us ' ALL that Jesus began to DO and teach ' (Acts 1-1 ). The Scriptures use the Title 'Spirit of the Living God' in association with the work of the Holy Spirit in making the Word Live and His children 'Living Epistles' ( 2 Cor. 3-3 ).   A person miraculously transformed  by the Spirit of the Living God is a living epistle, a walking, breathing testimonial to the power of the Living God in the world to-day. The Lord is the Spirit ; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Cor. 3-17). Not by might, not by power, but 'by my Spirit' says the Lord. ( Zech 4:6).


Who stays not in his littleness, will lose his greatness.

( St. Francis de Sales ).

Aid to the Church in Need.  (2O12).

"For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven...a time to keep silence and a time to speak".

(Ecclesiastes 3 : 1-7).

Please understand why I am writing an exceptional, one-off letter, with a crisis call to prayer and action.  For now is a critical time in the life of the Church and the People of God.   Aid to the Church in Need needs your voice - to speak up and encourage a stand for faith and freedom.

Right now, in so ,many parts of the world, Christians and their beliefs are coming under direct attack from extremists, ideological regimes and oppressive governments.  Right now, here in the West, there is a feeling that Christianity is undermined, disparaged or dismissed by elements of society.

Why is it so important to act now?

An upsurge in extremism has sparked fear and panic among Christian communities who Aid to the Church in Need helps.For them the situation is already one of full-blown crisis.  A chilling phrase from Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk in Northern Iraq lays bare the despair of so many of our fellow faithful.   He said:   

"The attacks on Christians continue and the world remains totally silent.   It's as if we've been swallowed up by the night".

As extremists drive Christians from their homelands in Iraq, many faithful in Syria have begun to flee their own homes, while Christian communities in Egypt face the fear of further terrible attacks.    In Nigeria, hundreds have died at the hands of Islamist group Boko Haram, whose stated aim is to "create so much effort to have a proper Islamic state that the Christians will not be able to stay".

In Zimbabwe, the oppressive regime has arrested clergy, seized Church-run institutions such as hospitals and carried out violent attacks against those who resist.  Christians in China also face strict government controls, with priests and bishops arrested and sent to forced labour camps and worshippers required to register with the authorities.   And in Pakistan and India, mobs have carried out vicious anti-Christian attacks that have left many dead.   

But what can we actually do and how can we respond? 

Trusting in God and following the lead of Pope Benedict XV1,  we feel impelled to 'go out into the public square' - to call for prayer and action for those who suffer persecution and oppression simply for witnessing to Christ today.  And we are asking you to join with us, for you are the lifeblood and strength of this charity.

Please help shine a spotlight on the suffering of persecuted  Christians.   We must ALL tell their story. But first we need to know their story and understand the importance of religious freedom - "the first human rights", as the Holy Father makes clear.

Many of you have committed to joining us in Scotland which will be the focal point of our Carfin Pilgrimage on Saturday 16th June 12

Some of you have also told us that you are organizing days of prayer in your parishes.  This is a wonderful start.  Thank you!  Such acts of prayer and witness bring us together, i  spiritual and practical support, as we help carry all the crosses of suffering for witnessing to Christ today. If you would like to organize your own prayer event, please request a Witness prayer pack using the form overleaf, or download it at

We need people to break the wall of silence, to know, inform, educate and encourage others to act now.  the Church worldwide needs our collective energy and voices.  Please do send for your free copy of our new report, Christians and the Struggle for Religious Freedom (see green panel.left) to read and discuss in your family and parish.

In his Urbi et-Orbi greeting on Easter Sunday, Pope Benedict said:   "Christ is hope and comfort in a particular way for those Christian communities suffering most for their faith on account of discrimination and persecution.   And he is present as a force of hope through his Church, which is close to all human situations of suffering and injustice.

It is that hope which we strive to bring to out suffering brothers and sisters.   As one benefactor recently told us :  "Aid to the Church in Need does what it says on the label",

But it is only thanks to you - our dear friends - that we can answer the request and cries of those in need,  In recent weeks you have enabled us to do so much. 

"Behold, now is the acceptable time: behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor.6-2).- the time to pray, inform AND ACT.

Yours in Christ,

Neville Kyrke-Smith.   UK Director.


to read, watch and listen to more.



Pope Benedict says:  "Religious Freedom is the first of human rights, for it expresses the most fundamental reality of the person".

Let' begin now to do something!

With our hands in God's hand.

Anita Kilbride - Jones,

St. Paul's Bay, Malta. 



 The O'Brien sisters with niece Sheba O' Callaghan (nee Jones-Dillon) & her baby daughter Siobra

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