Q You used to play racquetball with Archbishop Alfred Hughes. Who often came out the victor in these matches? What do you enjoy about the sport itself?

A Archbishop Alfred Hughes and I played racquetball for many years. We played a competitive game in which we had many bruises, nose bleeds sprained ankles etc., but we had a lot of fun. We both really enjoyed the game and we left all our winnings and losses on the court, leaving us with no bragging rights. Today I still play but because of a knee problem the archbishop has, he had to take up other forms of exercise. I grew up playing hand ball so it was an easy transition for me to take up racquetball. I enjoy the speed of the game. For me it’s a great time for reflects and a terrific workout.

 

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… with FATHER MIKE MORONEY, pastor of St Alphonsus Church in Greenwell Springs

 

Q What do you enjoy most about your visits home to Ireland once a year?

I enjoy catching up with my brother and two sisters and their families. There were times when we all lived outside of Ireland except for mom and dad. So each year in July we all came together at their house and sort of camped out on the floor or any available space as the family grew with nieces and nephews. I now own my parent’s home so in July my brother and sisters and their families try to spend some time there. The home is located in the country which I enjoy, and I really like that during the summer months daylight will last until 10:30 sometimes until 11 at night.

You used to drive a bus. Can you tell us about that?

A  I had a lot of fun driving buses and later on a motor coach. A friend of mine, Bo Stepp, and I drove the youth on trips all over the country; we had a lot great times. What was most enjoyable was that we were able to take the youth, altar servers and retired groups on trips at a very reasonable cost. Today’s cost of renting a bus makes it very difficult to go on trips like we did in the past.

What were some of the challenges, “learning moments” and positive outcomes that came from being displaced from your rectory during the flood of 2016?

When I hear the words “The Great Flood” I don’t understand what was great about it. For us here at St. Alphonsus it was a devastating experience. I do not have any words that can describe the wonderful people of St. Alphonsus and the Central community. They were tenacious, courageous and tireless in their efforts of support of each other, for the church and the entire community. We all shared this disaster together whether someone flooded or not. Like many in our community my home flooded along with the church and school buildings. I was blessed as were so many others who had wonderful friends that took them into their homes and made them feel welcomed. It was great and I did not have to fix meals.

Tell us something about yourself that most people may not know.

I have always had a great love for animals, especially dogs. So when I was growing up I owned Greyhounds which I liked to train and race at the dog track which I enjoyed. When on vacation in Ireland over the years when my dad and mom were living we would always go to the dog track on Friday nights. Still today when I am in Ireland I still like to visit the dog track.

What is special about the Fourth of July to you?

As we approach the Fourth of July it is a time to be grateful and thankful for the many men and women who have served in the cause of freedom and those who continue to risk their lives each day. Because of terrorism our lives have all changed when we travel, we go to sporting events and in particular when we fly.

Parting thoughts?

First I would like to say a special thanks to Vicki Adams who has worked here for many years and is retiring. Vicki has worked in many areas of responsibility in the parish office and I want to say on behalf of us all here in the office many thanks for the part that you have played on the parish staff over these many years. I know that I speak for all of us in the office when I say have a wonderful retirement, enjoy it especially with your grandchildren. We will miss you. God speed and God bless you. Secondly I wish to say thanks to all who help make made my 45th anniversary such a special time from the music at the Mass to the wonderful reception. Many thanks to all here at St. Alphonsus it was very special time for me and I am most grateful to everyone.