Dear Editor, – Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them (Shakespeare). A great man has passed in the person of Fr Alec Reid – though his characteristic humility would’ve undoubtedly seen him embarrassed as such sentiment.
In a world that lauds multimillionaire football players and loose-living celebrities as role models, courageous priests like Fr Reid stand as true heroes.
His tireless commitment to peace through mutual understanding stands in stark contrast to the politicians who are more interested in petty point-scoring over one another rather than actually improving the lives of people all across this island.
Fr Reid’s death should stand as a reminder to us that the peace process remains precarious and that peace is always more than the absence of violence. Peace must be followed by a robust commitment to addressing the past in a way that can lead to true reconciliation and healing of the historic memory.
For decades the North of Ireland, a region where the overwhelming majority of people profess the Christian Faith, stood as a scandal to the world. The spectacle of Christians engaging in violence against one another was a damning indictment. In valiantly working to bring about an end to violence Fr Reid deserves our eternal gratitude.
“Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25: 34).