By Marian Harnett

Wedding Bells: Congratulations to Brid O’Rourke, Ballaugh and Kieran McCarthy, Knockbrack who got married on Friday and to Bernadette McCarthy and Mark O’Brien who were married on Saturday.  We wish them every happiness in their married lives together.

MUNSTER UNIVERSITY: The Technological University based in Tralee has secured €2,219,980 in funding to provide 837 places under the Government’s Springboard+ and Human Capital Initiatives for the academic year 2021/2022.

POSSIBLE JOB OPPORTUNITIES:  Cyber Ireland reports that 48 % of companies have open or unfilled cyber roles.

WORLD DAY FOR GRANDPARENTS AND THE ELDERLY:  The First World Day for Grandparents & the Elderly will be celebrated on Sunday 25th July. Pope Francis reminds us to value our grandparents and elderly and, in recognition of their role, the Pope has now instituted an annual World Day into the Church calendar to be celebrated on the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, parents of Mary and grandparents of Jesus. Think this week of how you can show appreciation to your grandparents or an elderly relative or neighbour. Perhaps a visit or a telephone call would be appropriate.

A MESSAGE FROM FR. TONY:  “Guidance on attending Mass; Since the parish church opened up in May to allow people attend Mass, the numbers attending have increased significantly, especially at weekends. This is good news and very encouraging.  However, we have to ensure that it is safe to do so for everybody. Because of the ongoing restrictions and the expected Delta wave we need to remind parishioners that we are limited in the number of people who can actually attend Mass within the church at any one time. We have a responsibility to follow seriously the guidance of the HSE for the opening of churches. We ask parishioners where possible, to attend Mass during the weekdays, where there is ample room at the moment for additional people to attend Mass, rather than Sunday morning  or Saturday evening. Once the maximum number of people allowed to be within church has been reached, a sign will be placed at the door informing people that the church is full. Parishioners then have the option of attending Mass in their cars and tuning into the church radio 107FM. Holy Communion will be brought to you at Communion time. Stewards are obliged to implement these rules and we ask you to follow the directions of the stewards at all times. Church doors and windows have to remain open at all times to ensure proper ventilation. We appreciate how important  it is for parishioners to be able to attend Mass and to  receive Holy Communion, but in order to be as safe as possible and to ensure that our churches remain open into the future, we all need to do our bit in complying with the requirements at this time.

RECOVERY LOAN FUND LAUNCHED:  Community Finance Ireland has announced a £/€10 million All-Island Recovery Loan Fund, its first all-island loan scheme. The fund will offer flexible loans of £10,000-£250,000 (NI) and €10,000 to €500,000 (RoI) to community sector organisations including faith-based groups, sports clubs and social enterprises.

PAYMENTS C19: The word on the street is that there is a lot of Covid around these parts so this information with thanks to Jer Keneally, Knockanure may be timely:  “The personal rate for this payment is €350 per week, as compared with the normal Illness Benefit rate of €203. It will be paid for a maximum of 2 weeks where a person is self-isolating due to being a probable source of infection, and for a maximum of 10 weeks if a person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus). If a person has been certified for less than 10 weeks, they will be paid for the duration of their certificate.”

https://www.gov.ie/en/service/df55ae-how-to-apply-for-illness-benefit-for-covid-19-absences/

REEK SUNDAY: The annual Reek Sunday Pilgrimage on Croagh Patrick, will be going ahead this year in an extended format from Wednesday to Saturday all through July. Pilgrims are asked to plan their climb well in advance, and to choose a weekday when Croagh Patrick is quieter. The Reek Pilgrimage normally takes place on the last Sunday in July.

YOUTH 2000 SUMMER RETREATS: This year the summer retreats for Youth2000 are back. For the Munster Area there are three retreats happening this summer all during the same weekend from 13th-15th August and they take place in Limerick, Cork and Waterford. Places need to be booked through the Youth2000 office atoffice@youth2000.ie or 00353 (0) 1 6753690.

WEEVER FISH:  You are advised to wear footwear on the beach in Ballybunion due to an influx of weever fish which have been known to induce allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock.

SCHOLARSHIP available from Danaher McGrath Trust, details from local schools.

VACCINE ETHICS AND EQUITY: Those who have received their full vaccination are encouraged to donate the price of a vaccine to Unicef to enable a person in the Third World to have equal opportunity with those of us lucky enough to live in the First World.

RADIO MARIA: Radio Maria is an Irish Catholic Radio station that has grown in strength and popularity in recent years. It broadcasts Mass, Rosary, Divine Mercy Hour etc. daily. It has many interesting programmes. Many people tune in to pray with them. The easiest way to tune in is via the television, Saorview channel 210, (if you go forward one channel from RTE1 you get RTE2, if you go back one from RTE1 you get Radio Maria). There is also a mobile App. All details are on their website, www.radiomaria.ie.

LOUGH DERG: The Lough Derg Pilgrim Path on the Lough shore is now open daily. The full route is a 12km loop, with a shorter 8km option, and several information boards highlight features of particular interest. Leaflets are available at the Visitors Centre. A guided walk experience will be offered on Sunday 25th and Saturday 31st July, with Mass outdoors, weather permitting. Further dates for these guided walks will follow for late August and early September. For bookings and further information email in-fo@loughderg.org or telephone 0(0353) 71 9861518.