Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.
The strange times continue and it looks like we are in it for the long haul so we may as well make up our minds to the fact and each one of us must carve our own way through it. Find out what is working for us as it has done for the past seven or eight months and hope for the best. God knows we’ve been told often enough to wash our hands and wear a mask and stay one meter away from others at a social distance and we must keep on doing it. I suppose as rural dwellers we have an advantage over those who live in built up areas and more cramped conditions. So in that regard we can count ourselves more fortunate to some degree, but nothing is guaranteed.
I found it strange on Sunday while sitting in my usual placeaccording to the new norm inside my sitting room window listening to Canon John saying our 11.30 Mass and on hearing him pray for my beloved Dan’s 16th.Anniversary. I was on my own and it was so different. During all those years since his passing I’d be at Mass for his Anniversary. The Family would be there and when Mass was over there would be a lot of interaction and meeting friends and so on. This time it was different. How different, very different. Looking out the window I took stock of things. The garden, the lawn that we changed when it suited us, the flowers and shrubs that we chose together at garden centres or grew from slips or seeds, the little sunhouse that he built and where we so often enjoyed a lovely cup ‘o tea and some of my fresh baking, either by ourselves or shared with friends. The sixteen years that we enjoyed doing Bed ‘n Breakfast. The people we met from all parts of the world. The foreign holidays that we went on ourselves. Being together for family occasions, weddings, the coming of many of our grandchildren and so much more. Always blessed with good health, I gave myself time to reflect and I didn’t see any reason to be sad, a little perhaps but why should I feel sad, when God gave me so much to be grateful for and while the essence of the great loving Dan, God Rest Him, is still reflected in our children, grand children and great grand children. There was noreason to be sad, but so much to be thankful for. I then joined the family for a beautiful home cooked family feast (which had to be confined to a small number). Many thanks to Canon John and Sharon for also including my two late brothers, Ted and Michael at Sunday’s Mass.
We so greatly miss our Masses in our own church. There is a feeling of home about it and we sincerely hope that the doors will be open for Masses soon again. Until that happens how can we thank Sean Radley for bringing it so clearly into our homes on his wonderful CMS. A million thanks to him and our church Choir and Deirdre’s pleasant organ music. If you’re lucky you can hear Deirdre playing during the day sometimes in our Church and there are few things as nice as to walking into an empty church and hearing an organ play.
I met a elderly man,well in his seventies in the church on Sunday afternoon. He’s from far outside the area a casual acquaintance, he told me that he spends a lot of his time going around churches over a wide area, lighting candles and praying for all his friends both alive and not alive and for a cure for Covid19. He lives alone and this is his way of coping. My friend spotted three ladies sitting outside a cafe in Cork City at ten o’clock on Monday morning, drinking coffee with their umbrellas opened over them, that’s was how badly off they were for company and it’s what we must all do find something that works for ‘me’ and do it.
Sadly we are seeing a lot of litter being thrown around. Everybody is asked to refrain from this bad practice. Please keep our town and approach roads clean and tidy. A clean town can be very inviting and cheerful. So let us keep it that way.
The seasonal pictures on our website remind us that the autumn colours are about to light up our countryside and every day we go out some more lovely reds and russets and browns are fast replacing the greens which were in the limelight all summer. But nothing draws the eye more than an old photo of a group or committee and the one this week is no exception. How exciting it is to study them and see how many people we can recognise and how many are still with us. Interesting also are the things that were assembled for. This week’s group were making an effort to get a swimming pool for Millstreet. Big efforts were made and lots of meetings held, but all to no avail. It didn’t happen,the cost of building it coupled with the running costs were too daunting at the time. But there were others, big ones,which took a lot of courage to take on and so many of them are there today to show the world what a great place Millstreet is. Our Sheltered Housing Complex, St.Joseph’s Gardens, The Town Park, The Youth Centre, Gym, Creche, Astro Turf Pitch, GAA Hall, our beautiful Parish Church, first class Museum and Library, Pipe Band to name but a few. I hope we see some more of those brain teasing pictures in the near future along with the scenic modern ones. Thanks to all involved.
Here are the results of this week’s lotto draw which was held on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were 9,10,21,24 and the Jackpot was not won. €100 went to John O’Callaghan, Kilcorney, the seller was Tony O’Brien and he got €50 sellers prize, €50 went to Tom Carroll and Jack Murphy,Drishane View, €20 each to Juliette Crowley C/O Coleman’s, Niall Sheehan, Banteer,Emily Doyle, Cullen, Isabelle Behan, Drishane Rd, Margaret and Noreen, c/o John McAuliffe, c/o Jerry Lehane, Mary Jo and Pat Buicke, Tanyard. Jackpot for next Week €10,200. The Draw on Sunday night. Tickets at €2 each are on sale at many outlets in the town and at Guerin’s Shop, Ballydaly. If you’re in, you can’t win.
They say the winter ahead will be a bad one but not a cold one judging by the price of heating oil. I was pleasantly surprised last week when my fill cost me just over 40.35 p a litre. So at that price,nobody should be cold.
I wonder how many people watched “The Confessors” on RTE One last night. I took time out from my writing to see it and I consider it time very well spent. The bottom line for me after watching it was that I’m sorry I’m not starting today. Beginning my journey with God again as a 2020 Catholic, leaving behind all the stresses and strains of the past. Religion is never easy, I’d say no matter what denomination you belong to a degree of discipline runs through them all as indeed it does through everything in life. Work, marriage,being a parent, a part of a community. There is some binding features in them all . But as Religion is to do with the soul , the inner self,it’s different. Kind of like being in business with God. When we were young the picture that we were given of God was that he was someone to be feared, dreaded and the teachings of the Church were so lordly and overbearing that we dare n’t question anything. The rules were black and white, with no grey areas. Human suffering was a thing to be welcomed for our sins and it wouldn’t be good for the soul to try and change it. When Dan and I got married in 1957 it was still the normal thing for women to have a baby every year, regardless of how she could afford them or her body could cope with it. Birth control didn’t come in for years after that and when it did, it was deemed a sin to partake in it. But it was a time when women were starting to educate themselves. Joining clubs like the ICA, Macra na Feirme and it was beginning to dawn on them that there is another way. But the rigid laws in every aspect of our religion continued. There is no use in I going on and on about the way things were and I’m so happy after last nights program to see light at the end of the tunnel for our Catholic Faith which we always loved and always will. Judging by the way everybody spoke last night, things will have to change. The Lordly disposition will have to change and true love will have to replace the judgmental attitudes of the past. The tunnel vision of the rules of the Church must become more flexible to embrace the true feelings and situations of its members. By the way those priests spoke last night Priests had their own difficulties with the laws of the church, celibacy not least among them but like us all they had to toe the line. Changes take time but I look on last nights program as a great starting. le cúnamh Dé
I must tell you about something that happened years ago when confession was taken very seriously. We went to a show at the Cork Opera House one night, about five of us, one a Priest who was a curate in Millstreet at the time. During the interval the priest went off to the shop to buy some goodies. The show resumed and he wasn’t back but he soon did explaining the reason for his delay. Having no bag he had all the sweets etc piled in his hands when a young man approached him and said Fr. would you hear my confession I’m getting married in a couple of days and I’ve no way of getting confession anywhere before that. So the good Padre had no option but to offload his supplies to the lad while he put on the necessary for hearing confessions and they hid behind a door in the crowded foyer where he wiped the soul of the groom to be clean, and calmly returned to his seat. That young man’s prayers were answered that night. God moves in mysterious ways.
Keep safe and Keep your spirits up. Slán.