We had another glorious day on Slievenamon last Sunday, August 12, and when the sun is shining sure there is nowhere else you would rather be.
The ceremonies were started by Fr Liam Everard PP, who was joining us for the first time. On the way to the cross patrons recited the rosary and read from our missal, John Lee was on hand to photograph the moments. When we reached the cross and had time to refuel, the Kenny brothers, Laurence and Joe, took photographs like they were going out of fashion.
At the Mass rock Fr Everard celebrated Mass assisted by Canon Tom Breen A.P. and Fr Iggy O’Donovan OSA. After Mass a presentation was made to our hostess Eileen O'Donnell who was celebrating a special 80th birthday on the day.
Billy Prout made a presentation on behalf of the Holy Year Cross community and Gus Fitzgerald presented a bouquet on behalf of the Legion of Mary. Judging by how much tea was made and how little food was left I think it's fair to say that people really enjoyed themselves.
Now comes the hard bit, with so many people to thank there is always a danger of leaving someone out, if so please forgive me. Thanks as always to our hosts the O'Donnell family, to our parish priest, Fr Liam and Fr Iggy, on what we hope was their first of many days with us; the Fethard Scouts and Fethard Day Care Centre, both great supporters down through the years.
To Paddy Doheny and Jasper Murphy – two ‘sound’ men – who helped make sure we were all heard.
A huge thanks to those who painted crosses, directed traffic, erected and took down tents, supplied food, helped with catering, took photographs and all the other little things that go into making this such a special day in the parish.
The biggest thank you goes to all of you who travelled from near and far if you hadn't taken the time and effort to be with us all the hard work would be in vain, so once again thank you one and all.
We are compiling a photographic record of all the pilgrimages since it began in 1950 and would appeal to anyone with photographs from the events to let us make a copy for our collection that will be on display every year. You can email photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Joe Kenny if you need them scanned and returned.
Finally one story from the day, Tommy Healy formally from the Green, travelled especially to make his first trip to the Holy Year Cross celebrations since he was last there in 1950 – the first year the Cross was erected.
On that day, Mary Barnable from Cloran, made it up to the cross at 100 years of age, so remember that the next time you're trying to find an excuse for not making the climb.
– (Kevin Ryan)