Faith of foreign nationals an example to Irish – Limerick priest

Faith of foreign nationals an example to Irish – Limerick priest A Syro-Malabar community prepares for a procession during the pandemic.

A priest based in Co. Limerick cathedral has praised the Faith of foreign nationals who he says can “be an example to people in Ireland”.

Fr Leo McDonnell of St John’s Cathedral, Limerick warned against anti-immigrant sentiment in the country following large numbers of Ukrainians fleeing war and other asylum seekers from across the world.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic Fr McDonnell said that while numbers of parishioners in attendance this Easter have recovered since Covid it’s still “nothing compared to years ago”. However, he said: “You have an awful lot of foreign nationals coming in and if you go to any church now on a Sunday you’ll find people from African countries, the Philippines and more in the pews and years ago you wouldn’t see them at all. A lot of people from other countries, they could be working as nurses, doctors, any walk of life, you find them now coming to churches.

“People might give out about too many foreign nationals coming into the country but without them you wouldn’t have any construction, the hospitals couldn’t operate, the nursing homes couldn’t operate. It’s all very fine people giving out but by God there is such a need, we have full employment – there is plenty of work for all the foreign nationals.”

Fr McDonell added: “There’s a fair amount of construction going on in Limerick now and none of that would be taking place if we were just depending on the Irish population alone.

“The hospitals would not operate if all the foreign nurses just walked out of the hospital, you wouldn’t have a hospital, it’s a simple as that, and that’s not just here in Limerick but all over the country”.