by Peg Prendeville

I just had a glance at my notes of May ten years ago and realise that there was a lack of flights due to volcanic ash from Iceland. Ten years later the skies are crystal clear but very little flights due to Covid 19. Life teaches us that we should be prepared for all eventualities. But thank God for communication and phones and Whatsapp and Facebook. At least we can keep in touch with family members and friends without having to leave our door. But I have to say that there is one thing which saddens me most about this whole virus pandemic. We had been told that children could be carriers and so all of us grandparents made the sacrifice of distancing ourselves from all children including our grandchildren during the past seven weeks. There were times when I ached to hold them but I didn’t. Now they tell us that maybe children aren’t carriers at all. My question is was, and is, is this distancing necessary after all. I don’t know. At this stage there are so many theories going that we do not know fact from fiction. That, to me, is the real virus and does the most harm.

It is good to hear that, all going well, our Churches will be open on weekdays from May 18th for individual prayer. Not since the penal laws have people been prevented from going to Church to celebrate Mass as a community. It is truly historic. I know many people do not care and maybe do not notice but for those who do it is a huge loss in their weekly routine. But as Bishop Leahy said all our houses have become mini churches and I know lots of families set aside time to participate in an online Mass – again thanks to modern communication. It was great to have Mass celebrated in Athea last weekend, and facebooked across the world. No doubt all Athea people felt connected and delighted to be able to participate.

A message from Fr Austin in Ballyhahill

I hope you are all keeping safe and minding yourselves. I have been praying and remembering you all.We received some good news in the last few days and both churches will be open for a few hours each day for private prayer from the 18th of May.We will continue to pray for each other. God bless and stay safe. Fr Austin.

Thank God that the fine weather continues, even if it is much colder. It is great to be able to go out and enjoy the bright sun. A lot of turf has been footed and great work being done everywhere.