By Peg Prendeville

I begin by sending Get Well wishes to Thomas J O’Donoghue, editor of the Ballyguiltenane Rural Journal for the past 37 years, who has been ill for the last two weeks. This year’s edition is put on hold for the time being.

A ceremony to illuminate the Light up a Memory Tree will be held at Milford Care Centre on Sunday 14th December at 6 p.m. followed by light refreshments. Each person remembered will be enrolled in the Light Up A Memory book to be displayed in the Hospice during the coming year. All interested people are welcome.

Baile Dhá Thuile Comhaltas is organising a Seisún Nollaig –  a night when friends and neighbours get together in the Traditional Christmas Spirit.  You are invited to join them in the dancing, singing music, in the Parish Hall, Ballyhahill on this Friday 12th December at 8 p.m. Sounds like it will be a great night.

Ballyhahill School Parents Association is organizing a Monster Christmas Raffle with three hampers among the top prizes. The pupils will be selling lines for €2 around Ballyhahill over the next couple of weeks. Please support them. If you have unwanted clean clothes, shoes, bags, belts, bed linen or curtains (of any quality), the school would be grateful if you would donate them to the school between now and Friday the 12th December. You can drop them to the school any day between 9.30am and 3pm, or you can have them collected by phoning 087-6522103 or 087-1474485.

There is a lovely exhibition in Glin library this month with art from Phyllis Costello, Anna Costello, Bernie Costello, Betty Broderick, Marie Adams, Carmel Fitzgerald, Gabrielle O’Donovan, Julia Ryan and Miriam Langan. Please call in to admire. Some are for sale also but no pressure at all. The library will be closed for the afternoon of Wednesday 17th and closed for the Christmas holidays on Friday 19th to December 30th .

The Limerick Diocesan Synod was officially launched last Sunday at Mass in St John’s Cathedral. It was a lovely ceremony and well organised but the weather had a mind of its own. The plan was that 300 delegates, representing all the parishes,  each holding a lighted candle, would process in pairs out of St John’s school, down by the outside of the cathedral, in the front door, up the main aisle and lay our lighted candles on the altar steps. On exiting the school one gust of wind blew every candle out and a wicked cold shower of  rain sent everybody running in the door of the cathedral as fast as they could where all the candles had to be lit again! However everything went off beautifully after that. Bishop Brendan gave a lovely talk and confirmed that “It’s undeniable that our Church has been rocked. It has stumbled badly but it has not fallen. Yet, while the Church reeled, faith remained precious. The Church is in need of repair. It’s what the Lord told St Francis in his time and tells us again now in our time. But that rebuild and repair, with Pope Francis as a guiding architect and his hand directed by the Holy Spirit, is not for the clergy alone to carry out. Far from it. The Church of tomorrow must be inclusive, regenerated by us all together, clergy and laity; those of great faith and those of challenged faith, working hand in hand to create a refreshed space where the windows are open and new air breathes in. I ask everyone in the diocese to get involved in this.” Hopefully the enthusiasm of the delegates from every parish will continue and that they/we will get the backing of the other parishioners who are not able to be actively involved. There are challenging but positive times ahead, I believe. Next meeting will be at the end of January 2015.