When will we ever see the days of the session again?

Special Mother’s Day Mass

Fr. Duggan is saying a special Mass for Mother’s Day on Saturday evening and on Sunday morning. He would like to invite Athea people from all over the world  to get in touch if they would like to send Mother’s Day wishes. He will read out the messages at both Masses.

They can do so by emailing either of  the following:-

[email protected]

[email protected]

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea

Mass Intentions next weekend

Friday Mar 12th 7.30pm                 Mary & Michael Woulfe and their daughter Catherine.

Saturday Mar 13th 7.30pm              Mary O’Halloran. Jimmy Wrenn and deceased members of  the Wrenn family.

Sunday Mar 14th 10.30am              Ann Larkin – 1st Anniversary,  Margaret O’Connor. Penny Woulfe.

If you would like to have your mum’s name included in the mass on Sunday please get in touch with Fr Brendan or Siobhán.

St Patrick’s Day – Wed March 17th

A special St Patricks Day mass will be celebrated on Tuesday evening at 7.30pm and on Wednesday morning at 10.30am – again if you would like to remember family abroad at this special time please contact Fr Brendan or Siobhan before Tuesday Mar 16th.

Lenten Pack

There are still some Lenten Packs available in the church which includes a Lenten prayer card and the Trócaire box.

The Rosary, The Devine Mercy Chaplet and The Stations of the Cross.

The Rosary will be recited before mass on Friday and Saturday evening at 7.15pm and on Sunday morning at 10.15am. The Devine Mercy Chaplet will be said each Thursday evening at 7.15pm and the Stations of the Cross will take place each Friday evening at 7pm before the rosary and mass.

All masses are live streamed on the Church Services TV network via the following link


Church opening

The Church is open daily for private prayer. If you wish to book an anniversary mass, a wedding or baptism date or get a mass card signed please contact

Fr. Brendan on 087-0562674 or Siobhan on 087-2237858.

Diocesan Events

Following the success of our Laudato Si’ book club in January/February we are delighted to offer, in partnership with the Salesian Cosmology Group, a 4-week book club on Pope Francis’ latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti.

The book club will run from 7pm to 8pm over four Tuesdays from the 9th to the 30th of March.   You can register for the four sessions here:


The Week That Was 

By Domhnall de Barra

The airwaves and column inches were dominated all last week by the fallout from a photo of horse trainer, Gordon Elliot, photographed sitting on a dead horse while answering a phone call.  There was a lot of outrage at the perceived disrespect to the animal and a queue of people from the racing world only too eager to condemn him. The British racing authorities were very quick out of the traps banning the trainer’s horses from competing in the UK pending the result of the enquiry here. I do believe what he did was insensitive but I also believe there was a lot of hypocrisy from the racing world. He sat on a dead horse but that horse had a human being sitting on him, uninvited, every day for most of his adult life. The horse was forced to train, run as fast as possible, maybe jump fences and, when racing, would have been savagely whipped if he had a chance of winning inside the last furlong. At least he was feeling no pain when Gordon Elliot sat on him. Race horses are not pets, they are money-making machines for owners, trainers, jockeys, bookmakers, punters and a host of others who indirectly make their living from the sport of racing. Some people like to think of all animals as cuddly pets but that is very far from the truth. The most common pet at the moment is the dog but dogs were never pets in farming houses long ago. They were working dogs and had their own jobs to do. There was at least one collie type, or sheepdog, to herd the cattle, a small terrier to keep down the rodents and a greyhound for hunting and coursing. It is only in recent years that animals are kept as pets and we humans have succeeded in killing many of their natural instincts through domestication and forcing them to live lives like we do. Dogs, in years gone by, never had to be taken to a vet. They cured themselves by eating herbs they found in the fields and hedges much like our grandparents did. I can well remember my mother making potions and poultices from the gleanings of the hedgerows and forcing us to swallow stuff that was not very pleasing to the taste but it  certainly cured us.  Dogs also had great healing power in their tongues. As children we regularly fell and scraped our knees on the stones of the road or passage. This wound could sometimes turn nasty but there was no panic. The cure was to let the dog lick it clean and it would then heal quickly. Alas we have lost the knowledge our forefathers had just as the modern day pet no longer has the ability to cure itself. There is a lot of talk today about animals that are killed for their meat and many well meaning enthusiasts want to put a stop to it. There is certainly a case to be made for more humane treatment of battery hens, calves and lambs etc. but the idea that they could all live happily ever after in the wild is a nonsense. The wild is not a nice place. It is where the law of the jungle survives –  kill or be killed, eat or be eaten. Animals live in constant fear of predators in a world where the only rule is the survival of the fittest. Of course all animals should be treated with respect and dignity but I am a great believer in the punishment fitting the crime and while Gordon Elliot should have sanctions against him, he should not be deprived of making a living in a business where, up to now, he was highly respected.

We never learn in this country. Some people in the financial markets made this country bankrupt, through their own greed, just over a decade ago. You would think that the lack of regulation that caused this crime could never be repeated but here we are again with a group of high ranking officials in Davy Stockbrokers lining their pockets at the expense of their customers while avoiding detection by their internal regulatory authority. The book should be thrown at them but I am not holding my breath as white collar crime in this country is not treated with the same severity as petty larceny. At the very least this firm should not now represent our country in the sale of bonds. This comes after the announcement that Bank of Ireland are abandoning their loyal customers in many towns, including Abbeyfeale, throughout the country in a bid to cut their costs and make even more money. It shows what financial institutions think of us, the general public. We are there to be exploited and make rich people even richer.

I often walk along the road from Coole East over to Keale Cross. It is a beautiful, sparsely populated part of the country and there is a sense of peace and serenity amongst the boglands and forests with the air full of the songs of the many birds that make this  area their home.  I took that road on Sunday morning and I was disgusted to see the amount of litter scattered at the roadsides. Much of it came from takeaway meals that were just thrown out of a car window but there was also an amount of household rubbish. I took these few photos but they only describe a very small amount of what can be found there. I suppose there is no point in trying to appeal to the perpetrators of this littering since they seem to have no regard for the beauty of the countryside and will no doubt continue this disgusting practice. I do appeal to anyone who witnesses this behaviour to please report it to the authorities. A good slap in the pocket might force them to think again. Unfortunately this is not the only example of mindless dumping. Anyone who walks the roads of Athea can testify to the amount of cans, bottles, chip cartons etc. scattered  all over the roadsides. Has anyone an idea of how we can improve the situation?

Notes of an old Priest & Missionary             By Fr. Brendan Duggan

Last week I told you of my ordination on 21/6/1975 in my native village – the one and only ordination ever in Cappamore.

I returned to Kimmage Manor to begin a Certificate Course in Development & Counselling under the aegis of Dr. Sean Byron CSSp, P.H.D. I also enrolled for the H. Dip in Education in U.C.D. Doing two courses together was not on but I did both together and successfully. I needed a Diploma to get a Visa for my future work in Ethiopia. The Education Dip. was useful for teaching as I soon found out. It also entitled me to have a good job as a teacher of Biology, Chemistry & Religion.

The following Summer ‘76 I went to the U.S.A. to do eight Mission Appeals, two up in New England, near Boston. I was in Philly for part of the ‘76 Eucharistic Congress where the future Pope John Paul II lived in a N. Philadelphia Parish during the Congress. Cardinal Krol (Krol is polish for “King”) put up the Cardinal of Warsaw & Primate of Poland in the Diocesan Seminary near his residence. John Paul II had to settle in a mere parish. Rumour has it Krol was a bit disappointed and worried when J.P. got the Gold Tiara. Krol, after all, was the “King” in the U.S.A. Cardinal Koenig of Germany was also a King. (Koeneg in German is King). I look forward to the day when Ireland may also have a Cardinal named “King”. My good friend Mr. Seamus King of Cashel, who was a teacher colleague of History & English in Rockwell and GAA Historian, might agree.

I did 8 appeals over two months and it was an eye opener. The USA is such a Country or Continent of contrasts.

Pennsylvania is vast ranging from Philadelphia with its rich and poor areas. I was in Villanova, an Augustinian University founded from Limerick around 200 years ago made famous by Jumbo Elliott and Ron Delaney’s 1500 Gold Medal in Melbourne in 1956. Pennsylvania has a great mixture of industry and coalmines, Steel in Pittsburgh, Coal in Scranton, Penn State University with 100,000 students in the vast middle of the state. The University of Penn is Ivy League and Scranton and St. Joe’s both great Jesuit Colleges. Pennsylvania is a mixture of great wealth and great poverty and Trump had a fertile breeding ground for his Populism in this state and also in Ohio and West Virginia etc. The USA is a complicated “Country” with many problems and has a huge underbelly as a nation of Conservatism and Liberalism which co-exist side by side to this day. Anyway no more of this preaching or trying to analyse a great country.

I did two appeals for the Missions in Texas. I flew to Houston where I made an appeal in a “black Parish” downtown. I was received well and I got a couple of thousand Dollars. Next I drove 40 miles due North to Conroe, a rich white Parish in the oil area. Dallas was 200 miles north of Houston. I made my appeal and I got a goodly sum, around $5,000 as far as I remember. After Mass a nice blonde lady with her husband (wearing a Cowboy Hat) and two nice kids came up to meet me. She knew I was from Limerick. She told me she had been adopted by her loving “Parents” from Seanross, Roscrea Mother and Child Home. She knew her mother’s name and wished to meet her and renew     acquaintance. I knew her mother and family, who come from not too far away from me in Cappamore. They were what we call a very respectable family. I told the lady and her husband I would do my best. He was a Texas Oil Millionaire with his own plane etc. Her adoptive parents were nice people.

I returned to Ireland and I made a trip to her real family. I was well received and her mother agreed to meet her. So she came to Co. Limerick and met her mother, who had become pregnant around 18 and later married her man who gave her several children. When he heard the story he said he would have accepted his daughter and she need never had been adopted. The Nun involved in Seanross has since been named as she operated the Home for a long time. I was happy to help this girl and her family having a happy ending.

In New York about a year later I worked for the Summer in a Parish in Flatbush, Brooklyn where I met a Bray family who had adopted two children from Seanross also. The same Nun facilitated the adoption. Mary and Jack were great parents to J. and El. and had a great loving atmosphere and educated them so well. They were great friends of mine for years and I often stayed with them when I was in Brooklyn.

When J. and El. got to 14 each they began to search for their real parents but despite lots of searching they could not get any information. I have now lost touch with them but perhaps they now have found news as Ireland and the laws have changed. I intend to find out their success or failure. I am afraid Holy Ireland left many people down. Ireland, both Church and State and Law people, with our notions of tuppence halfpenny looking down on poorer tuppences, left a lot to be desired in our so-called Catholic State.