by Pat Brosnan


Thoughts on Advent


“The desert in our lives is the place where – in our poverty, our sin, and our need – we come to the Lord. For us too it is the place of essential confrontations, where the irrelevancies are stripped away and the elemental things become all important, where the truth in our hearts is revealed…. in prayer we are led to this desert”

(Maria Boulding OSB,

The Coming of God)


Call to your Neighbour

During these long, dark nights, people would do well to look in on their neighbours, especially elderly people and those who are living alone. They will appreciate a chat and the company.


Trócaire Gifts

Trócaire gifts will be on sale this Christmas. These gifts will greatly help in transforming the lives of some poverty stricken people living in the Third World. They cost from just €7 and can be got from or call 1850 408408.

Abbeyfeale Farmer’s Market

There will be turf for sale for the next couple of Fridays at the Abbeyfeale Farmer’s Market as well as holly wreaths, table decorations, homemade cakes and puddings.

News Not all Bad

As we approach Christmas there are a number of things that we ought to be thankful for in spite of the harsh budget that we had and little sign of an improvement in the economy, but then everything has not been bad since the late Autumn as we had the mildest winter for several years which is certainly a great bonus in itself. The Beatles, in the prime of their musical careers, once wrote a song with the title “Even the bad times are good” and perhaps we might be able to refer this to our present situation. There were several previous Christmas seasons which no doubt were much happier ones as the majority of the people, such as workers and people on social welfare, had more money to spend.

But even now in spite of all the cutbacks it is unlikely that there are many people on the verge of starvation compared to other countries some who are even members of the European Union. This in spite of everything, is a very prosperous country and while people might be inclined to spend less money on un-essential goods there is still a lot of Christmas shopping being done, visible every day, particularly with the queues in the shops during the present weeks. So as Christmas draws near we ought to be still thankful for what we have and live in hope that things will start to improve during the coming year.


Congratulations to Jim Herbert, Coole West, on winning €25,200 plus a €10,000 holiday on the Winning Streak programme on Saturday night last. Wishing him well for the future.

Buíochas – As we approach Christmas and the end of 2013

My thanks to everybody who has helped me in different ways during the past year. To all who sent me get well messages after my surgery in mid May, to the medical and nursing and other staff of St. John’s Hospital who performed my operation and also to the staff of St. Ita’s Hospital, Newcastle West where I stayed during my recovery.

Also a big thank you to the doctors and staff at Athea Medical Clinic and also to O’Riordan’s Pharmacy for their help, and also to my home helpers.

To all those who sent in news items during the year, as well as the ladies and members of our family who helped me to compile my writings.

To Domhnall and Lillian at the Cairde Duchais office for their great help and never failing courtesy during the year. To the members of West Limerick Singing Club, particularly, Anne Curtin and Con Warren, who proposed to present me with an award and also the local Comhaltas branch, who arranged the presentation party and to Abbeyfeale GAA Club who lent us the Fr. Casey GAA hall for the occasion.

To members of my own family and extended family and many friends from all over Limerick, Kerry and elsewhere for their attendance. Special thanks to Nora Butler Swan who came to present me with her latest album and her husband Pat. To all our local friends, our relatives and neighbours in Knocknagorna and the rest of the parish for their kindness to us throughout the year.

Go raibh maith agaibh go léir agus Beannachtaí na Nollaig oraibh go léir.