Second Names!

Tommy Scott Sherlock

Yesterday (July 29th) I was in Cloonloo Church for the baptism of my nephew's son - my first Grand Nephew! - Tommy Scott Sherlock.  Bill and Aisling's son arrived into the world some seven weeks premature but, thanks be to God, has done so well. He's a lovely child and a blessing to us all.  Long may he enjoy life, happiness, contentment and grow into the Faith shared with him in yesterday's celebration of Baptism.

It was wonderful to see so many people in the church.  More than half-filled, I'd say, with a great sense of joy around this little boy and good wishes for his parents who have adapted so well to this life-changing role.  I was proud of them too and pleased that so many gathered to be with them on this special day.

We baptized him "TOMMY SCOTT" (Thomas) and I wondered about his second name.  When I was baptized, for some reason I have never fully understood, my baptismal name was Patrick Joseph Vincent.  I understood, in later life, that I was Patrick because I was baptized on St Patrick's Day and Joseph because it was in St Joseph's Church Cloonloo (and I had an uncle Joe) but the name I'd be called was and is Vincent.  I never fully grasped why it was last on the list!! Patrick and Joseph are there in the background though and important to me.  I have one friend who told me when she was baptized the priest would not allow her parents (well maybe strongly advised!!) not to have a second name.  He felt it was a bit of a wasted exercise!  She hadn't until her Confirmation. So I thought last night about Tommy and about Scott!

Aisling had gone to visit her brother in Scotland. She was accompanied by her father.  They decided to travel by boat as flying might be a bit of a problem and there was plenty time.  She had seven weeks to go!  As we know too well, the script is not in our hands and, whilst visiting with her brother, the time came.  Her child was born in Dundee.  They were all so grateful to the hospital and staff there for the support given and the care taken.  I visited one day and had the chance to witness that myself.  It was, like many other things in life, a blessed moment and all things considered the right time and place for this little boy to make his entrance.  Dramatic but welcome!  Anxiety gave way to relief, uncertainty to certainty and sighs of relief were breathed alongside prayers of gratitude.

Tommy "SCOTT" then in honour of the land of his birth.  My Grand Nephew was born in Scotland and though he will grow, with God's help, to be a proud Irishman, his origins - his birthplace - is Scotland.

In time, I hope he'll be told of another Tom Sherlock who followed in his father's footsteps and learned a trade in another Scottish City.  He will hear of his Great Great Grandfather and Great Great Great Grandfather who both worked in the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.  As they returned to Moygara, could it ever have crossed their minds that one day, their flesh and blood would find life in the soil into which each of them, in turn, placed seeds that became plants, seeds that became food and tilled gardens that flourished?

Isn't it a strange world?  Just as well we don't write the script.  The pen is in far better hands!

Thanks be to God.  Amen.

I think his second name will be remembered.  God bless you Tommy Scott.

110 Years ago

My grandfather, Thomas Sherlock, in a Glass House, Botancial Gardens Edinburgh c1907

110 Years Later

My Grand Nephew, Tommy Scott Sherlock, just after his baptism in St Joseph's Church, Cloonloo 29th July 2017


  1. Very nice article indeed Fr Vincent

  2. Wow what a fabulous article. It made me teary as I was so happy that little Tommy was born into a family who love him so much. So many children today have a dreadful start this will not be Tommy’s case. God bless him always. Love Patricia Logan Conroy.

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