By Kathleen Mullane

Well we are back from Lourdes after yet another very successful pilgrimage. The group of 15 of us including our assisted pilgrims, had a wonderful time headed by our own Fr. Duggan. It was both prayerful and great fun too and anyone that has been in Teresa O’Halloran’s company on a trip anywhere – it was a laugh a minute – from running down hills (Lourdes is hilly) with wheelchairs to many other fun moments, too many to mention!

From the beautiful singing, music, anointing and blessing of the hands ceremonies, to the youth volunteers Mass and of course the final night competition of singing between the doctors, nurses, brancardier, youth volunteers, handmaids, musicians and priests, all having their own individual songs made up, it was brilliant. Actually the youth won the competition so 100 voices celebrated. We were like ‘drowned rats’ the first day it poured – after that temperatures were high. Well enough said but to anyone who hasn’t been on the Limerick pilgrimage yet – I would urge them to go – they will remember it for a lifetime. Some helpers received their “helping hands” pins for being there for 40 years others for 21 years – they work so hard, all voluntary.

Well for the month of July children up to 19 years can travel free on ‘Limerick Local’ link buses. So if anyone wishes to travel to Newcastlewest on Thursdays or Fridays they can contact me on the above number and I will give them times. Pensioners are always free and there is a charge of €5 for all others, some might like to use the service to connect to buses for Limerick.

This Wednesday, 3rd July there will be a special mass at 7pm in Holy Cross for all buried there and the following Wednesday 10th in Templeathea. Also Saturday 6th July has the anointing ceremony at 11am in the church, so a busy week ahead!

I loved Domhnall’s article in last week’s newsletter – “Do we miss God” – again getting back to Lourdes – the youth in today’s world have somewhat fallen away – however helping out in Lourdes or at home helping a neighbour or the elderly is charity in itself.

Great to see Hannah Scanlon so “hale and hearty” celebrating her 97th birthday recently – “a saint” in her own right.

Well the last few fine days we’ve experienced have “put a spring in everyone’s step”. Turf is leaving the bogs for home, silage and hay cut – the Tidy Towns group busy watering and weeding and a lot more – here’s to more sun !! 

Congratulations to Maireád Geaney and Sjoerd Delaat on the birth of their first baby, a little boy they are naming Conor. Congrats also to the proud grandparents Margaret and Jim Geaney.