Three col­lec­tors con­ferred Pa­pal medals


The Argus - - NEWS -

THREE col­lec­tors with 140 years’ ser­vice be­tween them are the toast of St. Joseph’s Par­ish. They are con­ferred with a Pa­pal Bene Mer­enti medal by Car­di­nal Tomás Ó Fi­aich.

Be­fore a packed con­gre­ga­tion Mat­tie Scol­lan, Gerry Gray and Frank McCusker re­ceive medals dur­ing a spe­cial Mass held in their hon­our.

The car­di­nal is the chief cel­e­brant, as­sisted by Fr JP O’Rior­dan, Su­pe­rior; Fr Michael Clancy, Adm. and Fr Brian McGrath.

Car­di­nal Ó Fi­aich refers to each re­cip­i­ent in­di­vid­u­ally and the long ser­vice they give to the par­ish and states the three men present a fine ex­am­ple of how the laity can play a role in the church.

The read­ings are given by Hughie Hig­gins and Tom McAleavey and the choir is in great voice for the oc­ca­sion.

An­other fac­tor which adds sig­nif­i­cantly to the Mass is hav­ing the bells in fine tune again af­ter their re­cent restora­tion.

Fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony, the crowd makes its way to the ad­ja­cent St Ger­ard’s com­mu­nity cen­tre which is of­fi­cially opened and blessed by the car­di­nal.

The for­mer St Ger­ard’s hall is given an ex­ten­sive facelift at a cost of £25,000 to turn it into a drop-in cen­tre for parish­ioners to come for a cup of tea and a chat dur­ing the day.

It is al­ready prov­ing pop­u­lar, and is also used by a num­ber of groups at night.

A con­cert is held in con­junc­tion with the of­fi­cial open­ing and bless­ing and Nicky McCourt acts as master of cer­e­monies.

There is tra­di­tional Ir­ish mu­sic from the JJ Gar­diner group and the McMa­hon fam­ily and Mona Roddy’s dancers per­form.

Among the vo­cal­ists are Seán and Laura Cole­man, Gearóid Ó Con­lúain, Paul Con­nolly, Su­san Doyle and Kevin McEl­her­ron.

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