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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Clonagam Cemetery Mass 2015

Regrettably I was unable to attend this year's Mass, 
but am glad to include hereunder, with kind permission, 
an account of the event from St. Patrick's Church newsletter.

A beautiful early evening, briefly interrupted by a very short shower which didn’t dampen the spirit of those in attendance, set the scene for the annual Clonegam Graveyard Mass. Fr. Richard was joined by Rev. Mellissa Jeffers for this special occasion. In welcoming the congregation Fr. Richard remembered those buried in the cemetery since last year, mentioning that the late 8th Marquis of Waterford, John Hubert de la Poer Beresford, was only buried there in February of this year. He had read the First Reading for our Mass last year. His son, Lord Tyrone, read our First Reading this time, followed by Joan Kelleher reading the Responsorial Psalm and Emma Verling our Second Reading. This is the text of Fr. Richard’s homily:

 As we gather, we are surrounded by history and by beauty. What a magnificent view. Were you to close your eyes and try an imagine such a scene as we have here, it would be hard to do. It is no accident I think, that being here this evening, we do on a day that Pope Francis, in solidarity with other Christian churches has asked us to celebrate as ‘Creation Day’ - a day devoted to appreciating the great gift of creation which God has given to us. Only a few weeks ago actually, Pope Francis presented to the world his second letter entitled Laudato Si - a letter all about creation - a letter which outlines the care that we should have for this world and ourselves who inhabit it. And as we all know, there are many issues facing the care of nature and the care of each other. We all are part of creation and God wants us to appreciate and value who we are and what we have. We only have to think of the ongoing refugee crisis that we see every night on our television screens - people being exploited in their misery and desperation and being left to face dangerous journeys. Not how it is meant to be. We think of how some of the biggest and richest countries in the world will not agree on climate change because it gets in the way of business and commerce. Again, not as it should be. This world, our environment, our lives - they are all gifts to be cherished and looked after.         
 On this evening, as we appreciative the lives and caring of family and friends gone before us and who rest in this place, the beauty and peace of this place and our friendly gathering and cooperation, they point to a way forward. They point to that appreciation of what we have and who we are and how now more than ever, we should care for the beauty around us and each other who are fortunate to share it. May we never falter in that task of caring. May we never leave God down in watching over all that He has given to us.

Our sacristan Mary took great care in having everything taken from St. Patrick’s as well as bringing from her own home her late mother in law Eileen’s Crucifix for the Altar. Our Altar Servers Jenna and Gerard took up the Offertory Gifts that were laid on the steps beside the Church door that were used for mounting horses in years gone by. Pat and Johnny had already brought up the chairs that were borrowed from the Community Centre. Michael Kinsella, Undertaker provided the amplification. Thank you to Lord Waterford and the Church of Ireland for access to the graveyard for this Mass. After a blessing from Rev. Jeffers our celebration was ended. Thank you to everyone who attended and anybody who helped in any way to make the evening special.

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