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Gathering at Mass Rock

Fr Donagh O’Meara PP and Fr Jackie Sharpe CSSp celebrated Mass at the Ballydonahane Mass Rock on Friday evening 15th September 2017. The large congregation on the dry but chilly evening was comprised of people from the neighbouring townlands and from throughout the parish. Members of the Bodyke Church choir enhanced the occasion by singing hymns during the Mass.

Fr Donagh spoke during the Mass of the sacred space in Ballydonahane and of the great people of the locality who kept and cherished their faith during difficult and dangerous times. He spoke of the changes we see today in the realm of faith and he said we should however note the Christian attitude of so many people , especially young people, who are sensitive to the needs of each other and of their community. He quoted Peig Sayers from her story of a time when people sheltered and minded each other on her isolated Blasket island. Fr Donagh said that as members of  a community  we all live in the shade and shelter of each other.

The Mass was offered for John Fitzgerald who was born in Corragnoe, Caherhurley in 1953 and who died in Melbourne, Australia in March 2017. John was a highly regarded and accomplished musician who, before the Fitzgerald family emigrated to Australia, would have been very familiar with the fields and hills around this part of the parish and so it was fitting that he was remembered at the Mass Rock in Ballydonahane. Some of John’s relatives were involved with the readings and the offerings of bread and wine for the Mass.

After Mass those present enjoyed tea and cakes which were cheerfully distributed. As people stood and chatted in the cleared space around the Mass Rock , almost hidden by forestry plantations, there was much praise for the members of the local community who have minded the Mass Rock and who in recent times have worked hard to make it so easily accessible. There was praise too for the members of the Parish Pastoral Council who facilitated a wonderful gathering in a sacred place.

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