Like the pontiff, he loves to cook his own meals and does a “mean” pasta. When he’s settled into his “non-palatial” home on the outskirts of the city, he plans to do a big cook-up as a house warming for neighbours.
Fr Leahy said yesterday that his late mother taught her children how to fend for themselves in the kitchen.
“As children we all cooked, so cooking is not a big deal for me. I am not a French cuisine-style cook but I prepare all my own meals. I like cooking, and do ordinary meals quite well. I like to do a nice bit of pasta and chicken dishes. I am fairly handy.”
Fr Leahy has just moved into his new estate home and is a source of some curiosity, as word has got around.
“I will have to have a house-warming. I’ll have to do that at least to meet my new neighbours.”
Fr Leahy said the Pope has already touched people’s hearts and minds through the non-fussy way in which he goes about his duties.
“Even people who are miles away from anything to do with the Church are talking about him. He has struck a chord. I met a woman who told me people at the shopping centre were talking about him.”
Pope Francis, he said, had shown some beautiful gestures.
“Bowing down in front of the people in St Peter’s Square, I thought that’s the way it is. If you are a bishop you are the servant of the people and in a certain sense you have to turn the pyramid upside down. Years ago, the pyramid was kind of the other way round.”
Fr Leahy said the Pope had inspired him with his simplicity and basic lifestyle.
He said the Pope speaks of the Church’s need to focus on the various forms of poverty in the world.
“We as a Church must focus on that. They are themes I would like to hope I can put into practice. He has encouraged me by seeing him do it. That has been an inspiration. The gesture of going to the prison and washing the [prisoners’] feet and a little homily of just 10 lines. I am sure many people would say, if I can take that away I’m doing well. A short 10-line homily.”