BY JACKIE KEOGH
‘AN Endangered Species – The Life of a Priest’ is the memoir of Fr Jerry Daly, a member of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart order, who was active as a priest and missionary for over fifty years.
Fr Jerry Daly – who has extended family in Cork and Bantry – launched the book at a reception in The Kingsley Hotel in Cork city, during an event that was very well attended by his family and friends, as well as Cllr Thomas Gould, the deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, and Bishop John Buckley.
The book charts Fr Daly’s childhood and upbringing in Cork in the thirties and forties, his early vocation to be a priest, and the challenges of his education and training.
Following his ordination, Fr Daly embarked on his profession as a missionary – work that placed him in a variety of unique and privileged situations in diverse parts of the world.
However, it was not without its trials – from battling illness in Indonesia, to dealing with political tensions in the UK during the Troubles, to witnessing the atrocities of the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Alongside of his reminiscences about his life, Fr Daly also expresses his views on a range of topics, such as marriage, alcoholism, and, most importantly, the state of the contemporary Catholic Church.
In his frank discussion of the church’s decline – which he claims is due in no small part to the intransigence of its leaders – Fr Daly speaks with the passion and authority of someone who has dedicated his life to religion.
The book, which was launched recently, is available in local bookstores.