By Marian Harnett

PROLOGUE:  “We should be lifting each other up and cheering each other on, not trying to outshine one another.  The sky would be awfully dark with just one star.”  Author Unknown.
DEATH:  We offer our sympathies to the family of the late Martin Ward, Ballaugh Cross.  May he rest in peace.
PRAYER MEETING:  A prayer meeting to celebrate Pentecost led by Janice and Moss Carrig will take place at The Desmond Complex, NCW on Sunday, June 5 at 3pm.  There will be music, prayer and worship and everyone is welcome.
GLASSES FOUND: Contact Noreen Barry’s Playschool, New Street if you lost yours.
CONCERT FOR PEACE IN THE CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION:  Preparations began some weeks ago with bi weekly rehearsals, tickets printed, posters distributed, spot prizes collected and finally on Friday the Blessed Sacrament moved to the tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel after 10am Mass with adorers for every hour until 6pm.  The final sound checks and doors opened at 7.30pm with a line forming from 7pm in the car park.  Dr. Mick O’Donnell, the band leader of The Lost Souls and organiser along with Donal Murphy of the concert had had a busy evening arranging the altar into a stage with cables and microphones and music stands.  The night began on the dot of eight with Katie O’Connor and the Church cantors and musical accompaniment from their director Riona Curtin, these are the group who served us so well during lockdown when choirs were not allowed in church and they took it in turns to sing at Mass.  Friday night they all came together and gave us a ten minute set finishing with the lively ‘Now I’m a believer’. Surprise guests included our own Philip Enright, the traditional singer singing the Sean McCarthy classic ‘Come Home to Abbeyfeale’ to rapturous applause. Indeed it was a night for rapturous applause and standing ovations between Fr. Tony our parish priest with his rendition of ‘Grace’ and the Murphy Family – Kevin on bodhran and banjo, Eilsh on the concert flute, Donal the patriarch on the accordion, Melanie on the fiddle and Owen on guitar who raised the rafters with their jigs, slides and polkas and even a waltz written by Donal during the lockdown in honour of their father and grandfather – the late Dan.  We clapped and hollered and danced in the seats and enjoyed Donal’s stories about writing a tune to celebrate Owen’s christening twenty one years ago which is now part of a set of jigs known as the Christening jigs and which is on his new album.  He told us too about how some years ago he and Mary his wife, went on a trip up the midlands to Cloonfad, Co. Roscommon to visit where his maternal grandmother was born and going into the empty church in the middle of the village to say a prayer for all belonging to him only to hear the strains of ‘Rock around the Clock’ echoing through the church and see an elderly priest playing a selection of rock and roll classics on the organ – it would only happen in Ireland.  After a short break and the sale of raffle tickets for a load of prizes donated by local businesses, community groups and the Sisters of Mercy it was time for the Lost Souls to take to the stage and boy, they did not disappoint.  We had everything from the Eagles to gospel to the Cranberries to Pink Floyds ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ and loads beside – I nearly forgot Dee Dennison’s wonderful singing of The Parting Glass. The latest addition to the group was Scott Fitzgerald on drums who brought the group to a new level.  I’ve run out of superlatives but must mention Gary of the smooth mellow tones who sings and plays the Eagles.  There was a saying above at home when I was young that when someone was that good that you’d bring them home and put them on top of the dresser and throw sugarstick at them!!!  Band leader Dr. O’Donnell in his introduction spoke about what Ukraine is currently enduring and said it’s a misnomer when people say that the innocent people of the Ukraine are enduring a living hell because Hell is full of people who deserve to be there but that those poor people are innocent bystanders in something much worse than hell – a war not of their making. We were joined on the night by a family from Ukraine who have relocated to Abbeyfeale and hopefully they felt the love that was projected.  Well done to the musicians without whom it couldn’t have taken place, the church stewards who manned the doors, collected the door tickets, sold the raffle tickets and generally kept everything ticking smoothly. Well done too to our parish clerk Anne who fed and watered the musicians, organised everything and with the help of Shane Pegley (who fumigates the church after every Mass and keeps us all safe) made sure that the church was returned to its usual pristine state before the weekend Masses with the Blessed Sacrament back in situ in the tabernacle..  It was a great outpouring of community spirit and to paraphrase Fr. Donal Neary S.J. editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger “We show our living Christian faith in our acts of loving care – the care we show for the marginalized and the dispossessed in our own communities or those who have been driven to our shores by war or climate change.”
DANAHER MCGRATH TRUST SCHOLARSHIP:  Young people from Athea, Abbeyfeale, Mountcollins, Tournafulla and Templeglantine are invited to apply for a range of scholarships  from a minimum of €2,000 to a maximum of €5,000 that are open to full time college students.  Application forms are available from Abbeyfeale Credit Union, local secondary schools or Woulfe Murphy Solicitors.  Closing date is August 31 and terms and conditions apply.
OUTING TO CORK: Knockfierna Heritage Society have organised an outing to Cork on Saturday, June 4. They will visit the butter market museum, Shandon Church, Cobh Cathedral, Spike Island etc. Contact Pat at 087-9977340, or Helena at 085-1190991.
PILGRIMAGE TO KNOCK: The Abbeyfeale Eucharistic Adoration Committee are planning a pilgrimage to Knock Shrine on Saturday 18th of June. If you are interested in making this pilgrimage please contact Kathleen Kennelly or Theresa O’Connor.  Interested parishioners from Athea, Mountcollins,Tournafulla and Templeglantine are very welcome to join with us.
WRITERS WEEK:  June 2-5   Peggy Seeger & Calum MacColl in concert on June Bank Holiday Monday 6th at 3pm and Tuesday 7th at 8pm in St. John’s.  Tickets online or by ringing box office 068 22566. Writers Week Mass  Listowel Sunday 5th at 11:30.