By Kathleen Mullane

The initiation/preparation ceremony for the 43 boys and girls who will be receiving their Confirmation on May 15th took place at last Sunday morning’s mass. They will have 4 more preparation get-togethers with parents before Bishop Brendan’s visit.

Next weekend is the Feast of St. Blaise, so the blessing of throats will take place after all the weekend masses. Fr. Duggan will visit Athea N.S. on Monday to bless the children’s throats.

Envelopes are available at the church doors for our sacristan’s collection this coming weekend (alternatively you can use your own envelope). We must not forget Carol O’Connor does an amount of work in and around the church and is a great help to Fr. Duggan, so you are asked to please give generously.

St. Patrick’s weekend no doubt will be much looked forward to this year, Saturday being St. Patrick’s Day. Then on Sunday night, 18th we will have the grand fundraising concert in the church. The money raised will help to send invalids to Lourdes and maybe help other local needs. Athea youth representative this year is Ciara Hunt who will travel as a helper. The concert will have music, song, dance and a lot more and should be excellent. Then Monday is a Bank Holiday in lieu of Saturday – so much to look forward to.

The awful news this week with so much talk about young children being lured by ‘sick individuals’ on social media and on phones. For parents mobile phones are a ‘comfort blanket’ that allows them to contact their children to make sure they are safe – to collect them from training sessions and friends homes etc. For children phones are a toy, providing amusement sending messages to their friends and like my own grandson getting ‘sports results’! Children now have to be made aware of the dangers that are on the internet, and parents have to be so extra vigilant and give their children ‘safe boundaries’. Manipulating predators can easily lure their way into young people’s lives. It’s imperative these days to have ‘open conversations’ with children. Many are saying that no child under 12 years should be online and if so supervision is necessary. Childhood should be a “Magical Place” – let’s make sure it remains so.

Best of luck to the Athea Vixen’s U14 Basketball boys team who travelled to take on St. Brendan’s, Tralee on Saturday last and won 32-34 getting them into the Cup Final on Sunday next in Killarney. We wish Trish and all the players the very best.

Hope all are voting for Anna Geary on Dancing with the Stars on Sunday evening’s on RTE. Anna is granddaughter of Mrs. Danaher, Templeathea.