Athea Parishioners in Lourdes recently with the Limerick Diocese

Limerick Diocese Pilgrimage to Lourdes, June 21 – 26th, 2018

560 pilgrims and invalids visited the Shrine of Lourdes this year. We had 18 people from Athea led by Fr. Brendan, including two nurses, two members of Limerick Youth Service accompanied by one of their leaders and one Brancardier and five invalids plus worthy pilgrims.

The trip was a great experience enjoyed by all, with excellent weather, a little too hot at times, but very nice. We had to leave one of our invalids plus one elderly guest who had an unfortunate accident at home. Our two youth reps were first class and our nurses and Brancardier really kept themselves busy. Taking 24 hour watch over patients is not an easy job but all seemed to enjoy the experience.

The theme this year at Lourdes was “do what he tells you”. The Lourdes apparition to Bernadette took place in 1858, over 160 years ago and this year’s theme reflects the Wedding Feast of Cana where Jesus, at the request of Mary, His mother, changed water, some 6×20 gallons into excellent wine so as not to disgrace the young married couple’s celebrations.  Mary, being the caring mother, spotted the impending wedding disaster and she told the steward to go get 6 large jars of water and “do whatever He tells you”. Bishop Donal Murray gave an excellent  homily about this biblical event and the Limerick Youth, on the final day, used the same theme for a wonderful, simple and beautiful  prayer and song presentation of what Lourdes 2018 meant to them. I was really impressed with the youth event service plus all the other Masses and processions which went off very well. All the pilgrims seemed to enjoy the experience which was punctuated by some rather good soccer plus the celebrations of thousands of elderly, and not so elderly, French Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans, many who had served in Algiers and French Africa. I saw one elderly ‘marshal’ who looked like a miniature Charles De Gaulle. Apart from the French Army messing up a number of our events, including one visit to the City of the Poor and our underground Mass in the large Basilica, which caused some confusion among our pilgrims, all went well. It was nice to see how the French honour and treasure their army veterans and one could see their pride in “La Belle France”. We had a great trip and thanks to all.

Athea Vintage Club

The annual Athea Vintage Club Road Run  will take place on Sunday, July 8th 2018 Starting @ 12 noon

and finishing at Top of the Town, Music & Refreshments followed by Trad SessionEveryone welcome to join in

Athea Annual Outing

The annual outing will take place this year on Tuesday July 17th. Visiting the Delta Centre, Sensory Gardens in Carlow with an optional visit to Carlow Museum and free time for shopping in town.

Bus departs from Newcastle West at 7.45am via Templeglantine, Athea 8.15am, Carrigkerry, Ardagh, Rathkeale, Adare, South Court.   For more information contact Marie Wrenn on 087 7674832 or Joan Fitzgibbon on 087 9865005.