Fr John Jordan CSSP

A Spiritan who helped me a lot

(17-11-2022)

There has been a lot of negativity in the last while in our rabidly anti Catholic media about the Spiritans.  Extremely unbalanced and prejudiced. OTT. Wolves.

In an effort to retain some sanity and balance, I would like to remember one great man who helped me a lot, Fr John Jordan CSSP. It was back in the hungry 80’s.

Fr Jordan was a retired missionary living in a little house in quiet Bulloch harbour attached to Our Lady’s Manor lovely nursing home in Dalkey.

I can’t remember the year but it was some time after my radical conversion in Lourdes in June 1983. The turbulent 80’s. Live Aid 1985. Berlin Wall fell 1989.

After Lourdes, i got involved in charismatic renewal  prayer in bayside with a young Fr Michael Hurley (now of Parish Cells fame – Great Web Site, way to go….)

My friend Peter Mc Namara put me in touch with the Healy family who were friends  of Fr Jordan  and recommended him as  an excellent  spiritual director.

Fr Hurley may have left Bayside at this stage which would explain why I was looking elsewhere for guidance. Mid 80s. Taizē was popular too. And Medugorje.

I remember in August 1986, I rang Fr Michael enthusiastically from America saying i thought i was meant to become a priest. I rang Vincentian Fr Kevin Scallon too.

Then I contacted the vocations director in All Hallows, Fr Walsh, with a view to becoming a diocesan priest in an American diocese. Anyhow, Fr Jordan wisely did not think I was cut out to be a priest. He was right. This just shows how helpful good spiritual guidance can be. Vocational guidance is very needed for young folk.

I had packed in the Pharmacy degree, the 4th year of which I was struggling hard to complete in TCD, and had a stress breakdown/breakthrough then recovered to become a humble pharmacy technician helping my mother, Mary, in our family Pharmacy in Neilstown in north clondalkin. The ‘Wild West’. Dad joined us there a few years later until 1996. I was VERY idealistic in those very impoverished days.

Here in Dublin West, thanks to the guidance of Fr Aidan Carroll, i met Fr Cathal Price and got roped, directly by God, into helping organise 29 annual Divine Mercy conferences in the RDS with Don Devaney, now Deacon Don. The Conferences were based in Baldaddy, where i got digs with Patricia ‘Pat’  Murphy, who is still there, in her 80s now. Fr Price moved to Kilbarrack in 1997. He retired in 2013. He is still there.  The 32nd Conference is back next Feb 18th, 19th 2023 RDS.

Fr Jordan was very gifted. He prayed a lot, as charismatics do. Very Eucharistic. He also highly recommended liturgical prayer. He had great stories of Pentecostal like miracles in Nigeria where he worked with the famous Bishop Shanahan. He told me “I am a Scripture animal”. That really influenced me then and still does now.

My spiritual director now also emphasises the simple Gospels as does the Pope.

I think there are more than 200  million Catholics in Nigeria now, thanks in no  small way to the Irish Holy Ghost  fathers, now called Spiritans, who were missionaries there in the 1930’s. Hard to imagine those very tough days now.

Once, Fr John was praying in his little house in Dalkey and a ‘word’  came suddenly into his mind out of the blue: “The eye will be healed”

Then, amazingly, his phone rang and a frantic mother begged for prayers for her child who had badly injured his eye with some sharp object, an arrow, I think.

In Faith, Fr John said “the eye will be healed”……it is Faith that heals……

He got prayers going eg the Carmelites in Our Lady’s Manor, and in various prayer groups, and miraculously the child’s eyesight was inexplicably saved.