Michael Kenneth Buggy was born in Kilkenny on the 25thFebruary 1931 and was the only child of Michael and Beatrice Buggy. His father's folk were farmers and had a family farm in Ballyouskill and although the farm was left to Ken's father he preferred to join the Guarda Siochana and rose to the rank of superintendent. This meant that he moved around the country and so did the family. Ken was only nine when his father died and then without an income times were tough for the family. Ken's mother who came from Tuam had to take up employment which meant Ken had to go to a boarding school – St Kieran's College in Kilkenny. Records show that he was a very bright pupil attaining honours in 10 subjects including Gaelic in the leaving certificate (A level equivalent). At one time he was a fluent Gaelic speaker.
He went on from there to begin his studies for the priesthood at Clonliffe College Dublin. Clonliffe was a seminary which provided priests just for the diocese of Dublin. He did not complete his training for the priesthood at Clonliffe but later graduated at University College Dublin with a B.A in Religious studies. He then came to England where he completed two years of mandatory National Service as an officer in the R.A.F. A job opportunity arose in Nottingham and he commenced his main career in the area of publishing, public relations and marketing. He met Jane and they were married in 1958. They had four children (sadly one son Michael died suddenly in 2005). There are eight grandchildren and two great grandsons.
Soon after retirement Ken went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he had a conversion experience. He often told his story of how those searching words which Jesus put to Simon Peter –"Do you love me?" cut him to the quick and his life changed from there on. This awakened in him his interest in spirituality and particularly in prayer. He spent a number of years with the Samaritans- a charity which provides 24/7 listening for people in distress and was involved in training new volunteers.
He went on a course in Spirituality with the Jesuits in London and this provided him with the tools to share his knowledge and spirituality with others. He organised "Open Door" retreats for local people and these were ecumenical gatherings for two hours a week for nine weeks. He also took part and later organised "Guided prayer" weeks in parishes in various parts of the country. Ken led days of prayer entitled "Listening" and the gathering at these was also ecumenical. He was an active member of the Diocesan Spirituality Group.
At about this time he was introduced to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and was so delighted with the wealth of spirituality and scholarship which he now could access and he soon joined the programme for associates where he gained more insight into their particular charism. Ken made his first covenant on the 7th of June 1998 and always encouraged others to consider joining the associate programme. In 2002 he helped with the planning of the 20th General Chapter in London by organising the transport from and to the airport as well as outings for guests. Ken made his Lasting Covenant on the 29th March 2009.
Ken's health deteriorated quite rapidly over the last two years and he did not find this easy to bear. He died peacefully on the 8th June 2015. May he rest in Peace.
"The prophet does not compel, but asks people to see themselves, the world, and God in a new way."
Dorothy Vidulich, CSJP