RO­MAN MIS­SION TO HON­OUR THE GREAT ‘SONNY’

Re­cep­tion at the Ital­ian em­bassy and Drogheda Male Voice choir to per­form at St Peter’s

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS - By HU­BERT MUR­PHY

DROGHEDA’S man in Rome, Chris­tian Brother, Christo­pher ‘Sonny’ Kier­ans, is to re­tire early next year af­ter 46 years ser­vice, many of those in the Vat­i­can City.

Sonny, how­ever, won’t be al­lowed to leave with­out a cou­ple of big oc­ca­sions and one of those is ear­marked for next May, it has just been re­vealed.

Tom O’Reilly, chair­man of the Drogheda Male Voice Choir ex­plains; “We had sev­eral in­vi­ta­tions to sing at im­por­tant over­seas events on our re­turn from the Royal Al­bert Hall but, when some­one men­tioned we should mark Brother Kier­ans re­tire­ment with a per­for­mance in Rome, it was unan­i­mously agreed that we would un­der­take to or­gan­ise this very spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

‘Our com­mit­tee have been work­ing dili­gently on this task and have put to­gether a great pro­gramme for our stay in Rome. We are over­whelmed with the re­sponse we have re­ceived from the likes of the Mayor of Drogheda, Pio Smith, who will travel with us, also from the Ir­ish Em­bassy in Rome who will en­ter­tain us and our guests at a spe­cial re­cep­tion to hon­our Brother Christo­pher Kier­ans”.

Mr Joe Heeney, a com­mit­tee mem­ber of DMVC, who is organising the choir’s travel ar­range­ments says; “There has been a won­der­ful re­sponse from the choir mem­bers to travel and within a short space of time our group had reached its quota of 80 peo­ple who are mak­ing the trip. We have a standby list and ex­pect many more friends and in­ter­ested peo­ple to come for­ward and hope­fully ar­range­ments can be made to fa­cil­i­tate ev­ery­body”.

The choir will sing at the Sat­ur­day Vigil Mass in St Peters’ Basilica in the Vat­i­can and also at the of­fi­cial re­cep­tion in the Ir­ish Em­bassy in Rome.

Plans are at an ad­vanced stage for the choir to sing in St Peters’ Square prior to the Pa­pal au­di­ence for the as­sem­bled con­gre­ga­tion.

Seamie Briscoe Li­ai­son Of­fi­cer with the DMVC states; “Whilst this is a splen­did trip for the choir and our party, the main rea­son for un­der­tak­ing this visit to Rome and the Vat­i­can is to hon­our a great Drogheda per­son who has been so help­ful to ev­ery­body from his na­tive town and has de­voted his life to his vo­ca­tion.

‘Sonny has al­ways as­sisted and pro­vided help to his fel­low towns folk when they vis­ited Rome and the Vat­i­can City. His love of his na­tive town has never fal­tered and he keeps up with all the news from home on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. He re­tains many friend­ships, de­spite his long term ab­sence, and of course, the reg­u­lar ‘pil­grims’ from home also bring him up to date with any news he may have missed.

‘Sonny’ is re­spon­si­ble for all the English speak­ing del­e­ga­tions and visi­tors from all over the world to the Vat­i­can, a role he has filled with dis­tinc­tion down through the years.

Christo­pher Kier­ans and in­set, St Peter’s.

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