Happy 70th Birthday to Dick Chawke, Gortnagross. Dick’s only pint of his
beloved Guinness he had during lockdown, as you can see he was
keeping his social distance.

Petition Against proposed Mast in Athea

A petition sheet is available for signing at Collin’s Shop and Griffin’s Butchers with regard to the proposed Eir mast which is to be located at the back of the Garda Station. Please sign if you have objections to this tall mast in the middle of the village before November 6th. These petition signatures will be forwarded to Limerick County Council and may have a big bearing on the granting of permission.

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea

Pastoral Unit Priests

Fr. Brendan Duggan                               087 0562674 / 068 42116

Canon Tony Mullins                               087 2600414

Fr. Denis Mullane                                   087 2621911

Parish Secretary-

Siobhán Barrett                                         087 2237858

Pastoral Unit Mass Times

Athea:                        Saturday 7.30pm, Sunday 11.00am, Fri 7.30pm

Abbeyfeale:            Saturday 6.30pm and Sunday 9.15am & 12 noon

Mountcollins: Sunday 11am.

Templeglantine: Saturday 6pm and Sunday 10.00am.

Tournafulla: Saturday 6pm.

Ministers of the Word

Friday November 6th. Mike Hayes

Saturday November 7th. Patsy Hayes

Sunday November 8th. Maireád O’Donovan.

Mass Intentions next weekend

Friday 6th November 7.30pm  Josie & Patie Mulvihill and their daughter Mary McFerran.

Saturday 7th November 7.30pm Michael & Peg Reidy, Johanna Sheehy.

Sunday 8th November 11.00am Patrick & Elizabeth O’Sullivan, Joe Scanlon and family.

The Church will be open daily from 9am – 1pm.

To book an anniversary mass, wedding date or Baptism or to get a signed mass card please contact Siobhán on 087 2237858

Our annual Mass of Remembrance to remember those that have died in the parish during the past year will be held on Saturday next, November 7th at 7.30pm. We will light a special candle for each person at the mass.

Remembrance Tree

This year we have placed our Remembrance Tree inside the front door of the church and we would encourage you to come and light a candle and place the names of those you wish to

remember on the tree.

November Mass lists are available in the church for you to pick up and when completed you can pop them through the letter box at Fr. Duggan’s or into the box at the church – see church opening times.

Our prayers are requested this week for Nora Fitzgerald, late of Keale, Athea who died recently in the USA.

Fr. Brendan assures you all that he will be praying for our parish in his daily prayers. He would like people to keep in touch with him by phone.


By Domhnall de Barra

Man’s inhumanity to man knows no bounds. Just when one atrocity is over another crops up. In recent years Islamic extremists have subjected the world to a reign of terror in the name of a God they think they are serving. It would be easier if they were just a few fanatics but we now know that it is far more widespread with new recruits being brainwashed every day. Sad to say some of those are from our own country but, to date, there have been no incidents here. A big fight was waged by many countries in the world against the fanatics and it looked as if things were under control but there was a terrible incident in France, where a teacher was beheaded in the street for showing his pupils material from a French magazine that made fun of the prophet Mohammed. Another similar incident also took place during the week and just last night there was an armed attack near a Synagogue in Vienna which reminds me of the words of  Gerry Adams “they haven’t gone away you know” (referring to the IRA).  It is hard to imagine how somebody could be so full of hatred and blind devotion to cold-heartedly take the head of somebody in broad daylight. This is the bad side of religion and it is not typical of the many law abiding Muslims who practice their beliefs in a loving, caring way. Some people take the old scriptures at face value and this is a mistake. Suppose Catholics did the same thing. There is as line in the Bible that says “if thy right eye offends thee, pluck it out”.   Well, I know that if I followed that commandment  I would be blind long ago and so would most of the population if only from taking a peek at erotic magazines in secret at school long ago or looking with lust on a particularly attractive person. What kind of a god would want somebody to commit murder in his name?  If that kind of god is what we have to look forward to then we are all doomed. This is not new though. Back in the middle ages England, a stronghold of Catholicism at the time, sent many armies on crusades to the Holy Land in an attempt to defeat Saladin, the Muslim leader at that time.  The Holy Roman Empire was very powerful at the time.  Bishops were equated to Lords with their own lands, servants and palaces. The royalty also had allegiance to Rome up to the time of Henry  8th who wanted to divorce his wife and created his own religion when  Rome wouldn’t agree. The problem is that most religions claim that they are the only true one and unbelievers, or “infidels” are not worthy of salvation.  This can breed intolerance and hatred in some who take the message too much to heart.

I was watching a programme on the telly the other night that showed protesters outside an abortion  clinic, somewhere  in America, shouting vile abuse at the women who were going through the doors. They were called whores, sluts, murderers etc and placards proclaiming that God was watching and would condemn them to the everlasting fires of hell. They weren’t just shouting, they had megaphones and loudspeakers to further intimidate their victims. Doctors and nurses who work in the practice are continuously harassed and have to take security precautions in their own homes.  I know the whole question of abortion is divisive and people get very polarised on the issue but these women have a constitutional right to legal services which were voted on by the people. This is democracy and we can’t cherry pick what we want to obey or not. In an ideal world there would be no need for abortion and, though I do not like it, I have to ask myself what I would do if I had a teenage daughter who became pregnant as a result of rape and didn’t want to go through with it. I would have no hesitation in going along with her wishes. As a man, I always feel awkward  on the subject because it is  a woman’s body we are talking about and surely she has more say  than I have. That’s why I think  that some of the laws created by religious organisations are unfair, especially to women. Most of them are made by aged, celibate men who have no idea what ordinary life is like and tend to look to the past and not the future. Is it any wonder then that there is a big decline in support for such religions? Churches around the world are seeing a big decline in attendances at Masses and the sacraments.  Instead of creating division and intolerance, religions should be looking at ways to get closer together. They all seek to give us guidance on the road to salvation but the message sometimes gets lost in the utterings of old men who need to come into the 21st century. As a Catholic I look to the teachings of Jesus Christ which can be summed up in a sentence: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” .  Simple but true. Jesus never condemned the sinner, just look at how he treated Mary Magdelaine. We need leadership that tries to unite and encourage tolerance rather than division and hatred. In that sense, today’s election in the US is so important. Another four years of Trump will be very harmful to human relations because of the way he sows the seeds of sectarianism, race discrimination and the fear of immigrants. By the time you read this I sincerely hope that Joe Biden (who wouldn’t be my choice to oppose Trump) will have triumphed and the world can breathe a sigh of relief again. We badly need statesmen to give us the proper direction.