By Peg Prendeville

The work of the Diocesan Synod goes on and in Loughill/Ballyhahill a questionnaire was given out at both Masses last weekend. Parishioners are invited to reply to a number of questions to find out what issues they would like to see on the agenda of the Synod in 2016 and also to ascertain where people are in their relationship with God. No need for names. It is all anonymous. They are asked to return the forms within two weeks to the Churches. The parish delegates will then forward the feedback to the Synod office in Limerick. They wish to thank everybody for their co-operation in this project.

Mark your diary for Tuesday 24th March in Glin Library. Professor Barry Conway, California, will be giving a talk on the “wonderful old souls who left the Glin area for Canada prior to the 1850s.” They had migrated to the Ottawa Valley in Ontario where Barry, three generations later, became the great  grandson of “Red” Mick Conway, who was born in Glin in 1828, and Margaret Mulvihill, who was born between Glin and Newtownsandes in 1834. Barry, who visited the library last year, is paying a return visit and is willing to give a short talk on the Conway clan who left Glin in the early 1840s for the Ottawa Valley. He promises to bring some curious pictures of Red Mick and others. But to really drive up interest, he also promises to show how the Conway’s of Glin are related to Shania Twain! So be in Glin Library at 8 pm on Tuesday 24thMarch for an interesting evening. All welcome. The library will be closed this Friday 20th.

I have new neighbours this week and it is lovely to hear the laughter and cries of little children in Paddy Faley’s house once again. So welcome to my son James, wife Fiona, and two children Clodagh and Saibh.  I wrote the following verse to welcome them. Thanks to Séamus Heaney for the last line. I hope he does not mind.

It surely is a joyful thing
To see life here once more
And hear the laughter of little ones
As they run in and out the door.
I ask God’s blessings on you all
And on this, your family home.
May it always flow with happiness
And be for you a comfort zone.
So congratulations to you both
You’ve worked hard and spent some time
Creating such a lovely space
Where hope and history rhyme.

It was great to hear that Séamus Heaney won A Poem for Ireland recently with his poem which he wrote about his mother. Many poems were nominated but this one proved the most popular. It is very touching especially this week with Mother’s Day just gone by.

When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.

So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives–
Never closer the whole rest of our lives. 
– Séamus Heaney