By Peg Prendeville

It is lovely to see all the daffodils dancing in the breeze, to hear the birds singing and to see all kinds of greenery emerging. Last Saturday was like a summer’s day. As each day is so different the best motto is to enjoy what comes.

We are in Lent and preparing for Easter and as the First Communion season is approaching it is lovely to see the those children and their families who are preparing to receive the sacrament attending Mass in Loughill and Ballyhahill each Saturday/Sunday. They are invited into the sacristy just before the Epistles and Gospel are read and emerge happy with their pages when the readings and sermon are over. Later on they are invited to come to the altar and lead the Our Father which they do with enthusiasm. All this is new to us in Loughill/Ballyhahill and it is heartening to see.

The Station Masses will be held this week; In Loughill on Tuesday night at 7 pm and in Ballyhahill on Wednesday night at 7 pm.

An introduction to Meditation and Mindfulness  course is starting in Glin at the Cloverfield Daycare Centre on March 27th from 6.30 to 8pm. Ali Burnard, a qualified Gestalt Psychotherapist has been practicing mindfulness techniques for over 35 years. Please phone her on 087 6452227 to secure a place if interested.

Knockdown is getting read for the Vintage Run on April 2nd in conjunction with Estuary Macra. The Knockdown Arms will be buzzing from morning as the  committee ensures that there is tea and sandwiches for all. Ta will have hot food ready when the run is over and there will be music. So there is something for everyone. A raffle will be held with lots of good prizes. The beneficiaries of this 2017 fundraising event are Ballyguiltenane National School, Glin and Loughill/Ballyhahill Going Strong and Athea Community Arts Group. Everybody is welcome and all support is appreciated.

Rural Ireland is not entirely dead yet; just today I heard of two families, who had left our parish, making plans to come back. That is exciting and we hope it comes to pass. Exciting for our local schools too as there are young children being enrolled.

Bishop Eamon Casey died on Monday last. I still remember the morning that I heard on the news that he had fathered a child and in my innocence thought it was a mistake. After all how could a good kind Bishop break his vows? It was a watershed moment in my life and a pivotal moment in the history of the church in Ireland also. It is not my job to judge him; may he rest in peace.

Happy St Patrick’s Day to all, especially our exiled family and friends, on this Friday.