“From Politics to Piety”: Tributes to Councilman Who Quits to Fulfill His Dream of Becoming a Priest

Hopes were expressed today that outgoing Clare County Council member Mark Nestor (FF) will return to Clare as a priest and officiate at the weddings of the councilors’ children.

At the Clare County Council meeting in September, Cllr Ann Norton said she would be “pleased and honored” if that happened and praised the 30-year-old Ennis man’s “difficult decision” to leave the council to pursue a degree for the priesthood to begin.

Cllr Norton (Ind) said Cllr Nestor has “the temperament to be a wonderful priest”.

Council members from all parties paid tribute to the youngest council member, giving him a standing ovation in the council chamber after Cllr Nestor confirmed he had formally notified the executive of his decision to resign his seat beginning Tuesday morning “to begin my priesthood training Wednesday.” .

Cllr Nestor is traveling to Spain this week to begin his priestly studies and Cllr Mary Howard (FG) said he is following his dreams and heart to pursue his ambition to become a priest.

Cllr Howard confessed that she cried earlier this year when Cllr Nestor first informed her of his decision.

Cllr Howard said: “My first reaction was to cry because I was happy for him but sad for us.”

She said: “Today is a sad day for us but a happy day for Mark. You follow your heart and your dreams. Mark is a man of great integrity and genuinely loves his city and family.

“Please God, seven years from now, you could officiate at our Mass here in the foyer for the staff of Clare County Council… Be very proud that you made a very, very difficult decision and got through it.”

Clare Mayor, Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF) told Cllr Nestor: “What you are doing is a very bold and brave move. You are a person and a man to be admired and respected.”

Clare Council Chief Executive Pat Dowling said: “It’s a long journey. It’s a big step from councilor to priesthood and from politics to godliness at such a young age.”

Cllr Nestor told his colleagues: “I am very confident that the experiences I have gained in my political life will help me in my new life path. It has always been and always will be my intention to serve the people of County Clare to the best of my ability and I intend to simply do so in another capacity.”

In an interview on Clare FM’s Morning Focus last week, explaining his decision, Cllr Nestor observed: “We often talk about God’s calling. It wasn’t like God was knocking on the door anymore. It was like he was outside with a bullhorn call.”

Cllr Nestor became the youngest councilor on Clare County Council when he was first elected to the council to contest a seat in the 2019 local elections.

Earlier this year, Cllr Nestor was offered the position of mayor of Ennis earlier this year, but Cllr Nestor missed the opportunity to be mayor for the current year as he focused on starting his studies as a priest.

At Monday’s meeting, Ennis Mayor Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) said: “You are a conscientious, serious, thoughtful young man… It is the right path for you and you are 100 per cent sure of it.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/from-politics-to-piety-tributes-to-councillor-who-quits-to-follow-his-dream-of-becoming-a-priest-41983751.html “From Politics to Piety”: Tributes to Councilman Who Quits to Fulfill His Dream of Becoming a Priest

Fry Electronics Team

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