By Marian Harnett

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS:  Wishing all the readers of these pages a wonderful Christmas and all the best in 2022.  Maybe just watch one news bulletin a day and get out in the fresh air even if only for a short walk to keep your mental health healthy. After my marathon trip through three states in the US in late November I can truly say that in my opinion we live in the best country in the world.  Between the heat in LA and the homeless people on every street and the smell of sewage in SF because they’ve had no rain in two years and more homelessness with camper vans parked up on the side streets around the ocean and the Golden Gate park as well as bothan’s  on Market St. the main shopping area. Then on to NYC and it’s nothing but running and racing around, litter everywhere and again homelessness rampant even on the streets of Manhattan with opulence vying with the smell of marijuana.  New buildings going up everywhere with a 70 story building that my cousin worked on now being overlooked by one of 125 stories.  It’s a daunting process now travelling abroad between all the paperwork, wearing masks and the fear of catching Covid in big crowds but I booked my flights with Noreen Lane of Travel Councillors who works out of Brosna and is the daughter of Moss and Kathleen Carroll, Creggane  and  I cannot give her enough credit for getting me there and back safely.  One of her suggestions was to buy a folder with clear pockets in it and print off all the documentation needed as in Esta,  Covid certs, antigen test results, passenger locator forms, tickets, boarding passes and carry them along with your passport when checking in because even though you might have it all on your phone what happens if you run out of charge.  So I did and it was a genius idea and I saw plenty of more seasoned travellers carrying folders too.  I came back in the middle of Storm Barra and received a call from Noreen to make sure all was well and that I was back on Irish soil safely – all above and beyond the call of duty. If I wasn’t so stiff after all the sitting I’d have gotten down and kissed the ground like Saint Pope John Paul 11 storm or no.

GLÓRACH NEWS:  In his final report for this year Lorcan Curtin writes: All looking forward to a well earned break after our final drive-in Bingo of the year, with a special mention to all who sponsored the hampers for the draw at the interval.  In what has undoubtedly been a difficult and testing year, it is important to reflect on some of the positives of 2021 for us at the Glórach Theatre.  One of the few advantages of being shut down was that we were able to carry out extensive renovations and as well as having an impressive new sound and light system, the Theatre has never been warmer.  Although there was, and still is, understandably, a reluctance amongst many to go back en masse to indoor gigs, we did hold two successful concerts in September and October and hopefully this will be replicated on a grander scale in the near future.  Our drive-in Bingo resumed at the GAA grounds this Summer, and it has been a great success, with a tremendously loyal following and a charmed relationship with the weather, leaving us to wonder if many of our patrons have been putting out the Infant of Prague on a weekly basis.  Whatever the weather, they have been safely guided to their parking spaces by the ADSAR, who will be joining us again in the new year when we resume on Sunday, 9th January.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout this year, and finally a massive acknowledgement to all of our volunteers for the dedicated roles they have played throughout 2021.  From all of us at the Glórach, nollaig shona agus athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh go léir.

ABBEYFEALE WOMAN ON TG4:  Last Sunday Abbeyfeale musician Louise Mulcahy from the Killarney Road headlined a programme on TG4 talking about women pipers in Ireland ‘Mná na bPíob’.

People of Abbeyfeale!
Make sure to check out THE TOY SHOP, which is on RTÉ One this Wednesday, 22 December at 9.30pm and again on CHRISTMAS DAY on RTÉ2  at 8.30pm. The film features fifteen independent toy shops around Ireland, including the wonderful MAI ROCHE’S in Abbeyfeale! From the makers of Abbeyfealegood!

CHRISTMAS MASSES:  Unfortunately, again this year it is not possible to accommodate all who wish to attend Christmas Mass. According to the public health rules for the hosting of indoor events, the capacity of a venue is reduced to 50%. Two metres socially distancing of people is still required. While this enables us to accommodate more people than attended Mass last Christmas, we still have only 50% capacity. Each individual person who comes into the church, must be counted individually.
In other words, a family cannot be counted as one, each member of the family must be counted separately. This situation needs to be managed to ensure the safety of
all who wish to attend. So again, this year we will operate a ticket system. This year Mass will be celebrated on Christmas Eve at 5.00pm and 7.30pm. Mass on Christmas day will be at 8.00am, 10.00am and 12noon. This year
St Stephen’s Day falls on Sunday and there will be the usual two Masses on Sunday 26 at 10.00am and 12noon.
You may decide to attend Mass for Christmas on St. Stephen’s Day.

COLLECTION: The members of the Abbeyfeale St. Vincent de Paul group would like to thank everyone who contributed to the annual Christmas appeal last weekend.
Your generosity will be of enormous benefit to those in need in our community this
Christmas and in the New Year.
ABBEYFEALE  CHRISTMAS LIGHTS:  Abbeyfeale Christmas Lights Group would like to thank you all for helping and contributing in any way towards making our town the brightest town around. We are solely depending on your generosity. Donations can still be handed into
Marie McElligott’s and Esther’s Shop.

We wish you and yours a healthy and safe
Christmas and a bright new year for 2022.

ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT: Adoration in the main church every Friday, after the 10.00am Mass – 6.00pm. Entrance through the front door of the church. Please note that when there is a Wedding Mass celebrated on a Friday, adoration will be from 4 to 6.00pm. Pope Paul VI: “Eucharistic adoration extends its influence far beyond the individual adorers, touching their homes and families and reaching out to the parish community and beyond”