Farewell to Fr. Tom

A little bit late! Pictures of Fr. Tom's Mass of Thanksgiving in Shannon, prior to his departure from Shannon Parish.

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Around the Parish

Photos from around the Parish. If you have a photo that you would like to share, please contact Teresa at the Parish Office.

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Flooding in Lourdes 130618

We are very grateful to Photo Lacaze in Lourdes who shared photographs of the recent flooding of the River Gave in Lourdes on the feast of St. Anthony 13th June. Thanks to the flood relief improvements which were implemented after the 2013 flooding pilgrimages were able to continue with minor alterations to pilgrimage programmes. The Killaloe Diocese experienced glorious sunshine during their pilgrimage.

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Lourdes June 2018

Over 450 pilgrims from across the Diocese boarded three aircraft in Shannon Airport on Tuesday 26th June departing for Lourdes airport in the south of France. By late on Tuesday all the pilgrims and their luggage had arrived safely in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains to begin the 62nd annual Killaloe Diocesan Pilgrimage to the International Marian Shrine at Lourdes. Among those travelling were 60 assisted and sick pilgrims as well as almost 50 young people between the ages of 16 and 18 representing schools and parishes from all parts of the Diocese. Since the Virgin Mary appeared here to the young Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, countless pilgrims have made their way to this place from all corners of the world to pray and seek for healing and peace. Lourdes is particularly associated with the sick and infirm and it has certainly been the experience of the Killaloe sick and assisted pilgrims that they have been treated as VIP’s in these days. Lourdes today is a busy and bustling place, with a myriad of hotels and shops to cater for the many visitors but the Sanctuary and the Grotto remain the very heart of the town. When Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette 160 years ago the Grotto was little more than an abandoned cave that served as the town dump but on Wednesday morning the sky was filled with the beautiful sounds of the choir from the Parish of Kilmaley as they raised their voices in praise of God. In his homily Bishop Fintan welcomed all of the pilgrims who were part of our Diocesan family and invited them to find a focus for their pilgrimage. He invited us to enter “that space of listening where we might need to unclutter some things, to free ourselves from what often distracts us, to focus on what is deep, what is meaningful, what is spiritual and special in our lives. In doing so our time here in Lourdes will be most fruitful and we will return home better people, bringing a renewed Gospel message to all we meet, love and care for.” During the apparitions a miraculous spring appeared in the Grotto and Mary asked Bernadette to go and bathe in it. That spring still flows today and fills the baths in which the pilgrims of today still bathe as part of their journey. The Killaloe pilgrims did just that in advance of leading the Eucharistic Procession in the afternoon. Each night of the pilgrimage concluded with a praying of the rosary by candlelight before the grotto. During this restful time many will have recalled those for whom they were asked to pray and the needs that they carried in their hearts. Certainly there were busy and active times on this journey. The day in Lourdes is hinged by two great processions. The procession of the Eucharist in the afternoon and the great Marian Torchlight procession as the shadows of evening fall are attended by many thousands of visitors. We had the opportunity to lead both and carried our banners high. But there are the quiet and reflective moments too when real healing of the spirit can take place. There’s the solitary moments before the grotto or in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament where the most earnest prayers are whispered. The Eucharistic healing hour led by Fr. Ger Jones of Nenagh and the Penitential service led by Fr. Pat Larkin of Kilmaley will have touched the hearts and spirits of many. A feature of our pilgrimage this year were the lives of two priests of the Diocese. The newly ordained Fr. Martin Shanahan shared the story of his vocations; first to marriage and then to priesthood and all were delighted to receive his First Blessing. Remembered in a special way this year was Fr. Frank Meehan of Shinrone parish who left us unexpectedly last November. He was a devoted servant of the Killaloe Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes as well as being a missionary for it. Many of our pilgrims come again and again having been first encouraged by Fr. Frank. In his memory a portable amplifier and microphone were presented for the leading of the Stations of the Cross, a duty he fulfilled many times. Lux perpetua luceat eis, Domine. The joyful hearts and generous spirits of our young people was a source of great joy for all of us. No task was too much trouble as they faithfully carried out their roles in supporting our sick and assisted pilgrims. Experience tells us that these days will be a defining moment in the lives, growth and maturity of these young people. Their service in Lourdes will be a constant reminder of not taking for granted the ways in which they have been blessed with health and life. Their participation in the prayers and liturgies will remind them that faith and worship do have a value in a world that has become increasingly deaf to the call of the spirit of God. Later this year Pope Francis has called a Synod to explore how best the Church can minister to young people. The Shrine authorities here in Lourdes invited our young people from Killaloe Diocese to participate in a preparatory meeting for that Synod. Our young people participated with enthusiasm and can have the confidence of knowing that the opinions they expressed will form part of the deliberations of the Synod that will take place in Rome next October. At the closing ceremony on the last night of the pilgrimage baptismal promises were renewed, religious articles were blessed and our pilgrimage candle was blessed and lit. In a few short weeks Pope Francis will be present at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin and Knock. As a prelude to that event the honour of lighting our pilgrimage candle fell to the Murray’s from Sixmilebridge who made the journey to Lourdes as a family group. The very large candle was carried in procession to its place opposite the grotto ensuring that our prayers will continue long after we’ve gone home. The Killaloe Autumn Pilgrimage to Lourdes will depart from Shannon on October 7th this year and you can book your place with Joe Walsh Tours by clicking here. Our thanks to Photo Lacaze and Bishop Fintan for the photos.

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St. Conaires Graduation Ceremony 250618

Sixth Class Graduation Mass for St. Conaire’s school took place on Monday 25th June in SS John & Paul Church. The class of 2018 were joined by parents and family members, school staff and the school Choir. St. Conaire’s School principal Peter Walsh addressed the pupils at the beginning of Mass, thanked them for their contribution to school life over the past eight years and wished them every blessing for secondary school.

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Apostolic Workers Annual Display 150618

The annual Diocesan display of all branches of the Apostolic Workers, including our parish in Shannon, took place on Friday and Saturday 15th/16th June in Ennis. The display was opened was by Bishop Fintan and attended by many Missionaries who came to say thanks.

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First Mass of Fr. Martin Shanahan 040618

Hundreds of people gathered in Star of the Sea Church, Quilty, on Bank Holiday Monday 4th June as local man Martin Shanahan celebrated his First Mass. It was in the same Church 26 years ago this June that Martin married the love of his life, Mary Margaret Flaherty. At the beginning of Mass after welcoming everybody Martin lit a candle to honour the memory of his wife who died in 2011. His son Eoin once again played the organ for his father’s first Mass and the combined choirs who sang at the Ordination Mass in Mullagh led the singing. After Mass Fr Martin spent hours in the Church giving his first Blessing to people as the community gathered in Quilty to celebrate this great occasion in the life of a community by the sea.

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Ordination of Martin Shanahan to the Priesthood 030618

Rev. Martin Shanahan was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Killaloe by Bishop Fintan Monahan in St. Mary’s Church, Mullagh, Co. Clare on Sunday 3rd June 2018 at 3.00pm, (the Feast of Corpus Christi). In his homily Bishop Fintan focused on the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the priest. He reminded the congregation of Martin’s great work in spearheading the renewal of Eucharistic Adoration in many parishes throughout the Diocese of Killaloe saying; “The diocese is deeply indebted to him for the outstanding service offered in promoting this powerful prayer apostolate. His work has a long lasting and continuing legacy of prayerfulness and communion with God in such a special way.” Bishop Fintan also expressed gratitude for the experience that Martin brings to the priesthood from his working and family life. Martin’s wife, Mary Margaret, who died in 2011, was especially remembered during the ordination ceremony and their son Eoin was the organist for today’s ceremony. The Bishop concluded his remarks by welcoming Fr. Martin as a colleague in the presbyterate of Killaloe Diocese saying; “I hope you will be very happy and fulfilled as a priest of Jesus Christ. I know you will continue to do outstanding work. May the Lord reward you for your dedication, commitment and love of the Lord! Go maire tú an ola agus go raibh cóta bhán Chríost timpeall ort inniu agus gach lá mar shagart naofa! Áiméan.” Fr. Martin will celebrate his First Mass of Thanksgiving in the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Quilty on Monday 4th June at 7.00pm. Biography of Fr. Martin Shanahan Fr. Martin is a native of Quilty in the parish of Kilmurry Ibrickane in West Clare. Educated at the local national school and Miltown Malbay Vocational School he worked for over thirty years with the ESB in Milltown Malbay and in Moneypoint. Married to Mary Margaret O’Flaherty in 1992, he has one son Eoin who is currently a third level student. Mary Margaret died in 2011. Martin worked as a volunteer for many years in community groups and church organisations in the Diocese and in his local parish. He was the first Chairman of the Killaloe Diocesan Eucharistic Adoration Apostolate. He pursued theological studies at the Priory Institute in Tallaght under the direction of the Dominicans. He entered Maynooth to study for the priesthood in the Diocese of Killaloe in 2015. Martin was ordained to the Diaconate in Ennis Cathedral on Sunday 26th November 2017 and has been ministering as a Deacon in Ennis Parish since then.

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Lemenagh Cemetery Mass 290518

On the last Tuesday in May the tradition has evolved of celebrating Mass in Lemenagh Cemetery. On the hottest day in Ireland so far this year, as the sun began to set, parishioners from both Newmarket-on-Fergus and Shannon gathered in Lemenagh Cemetery for this year’s Mass. Shannon Folk Group provided the music and our thanks to all those who participated in the Liturgy.

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St. Patrick's Comprehensive Graduation Ceremony 250518

The assembly hall of St Patrick’s Comprehensive School was full to capacity on Friday 25th May as the class of 2018 graduated. The gathering began with words of welcome from Mr Morgan Heaphy, School Principal, as he introduced the talented voices and music of the class. This was followed by video memories of the class of 2018. First year pupils Darragh Riordan and Leah Halpin shared with their Leaving Cert colleagues and wished them well for their exams and future. Ms. Siobhan Hickey, Year Head, and Mr David Deighan, Chairman of the Board of Management, both addressed the gathering. Some students from this year’s class spoke on behalf of the whole class before the keynote speaker Mr John Burke, Clare person of the year 2018, addressed the class and all present. John presented each student in the class with the class photo as a reminder of their days in St. Patrick’s Comprehensive school. The gathering concluded with more music and song a words of thanks. We wish all students every blessing now as they prepare for exams on Wednesday 6th June.

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St. Caimin's Graduation Ceremony 240518

The class of 2018 graduated from St Caimin’s Community school on Thursday 24th May. The ceremony began with a short address of welcome by Sr. Ena Quinlan, Chairperson of the Board of Management, and this was followed by a very reflective Liturgy prepared by School Chaplain, Ms Sharon Bulfin and led by Fr Tom. Ms Niamh McDonell, who journeyed with the class of 2018 as School Chaplain during their final year, delivered a most inspiring reflection to the class and gathering of families and school communities. Ms Claire Knight addressed the gathering before the presentation of Certificates to the students by Mr Brendan O’Sullivan Year Head for the class of 2018.

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Blessing of Mary, Mother of the Church Shrine 210518

Earlier this year Pope Francis inaugurated a new Feast of Mary, known as Mary, Mother of The Church. It is to be celebrated the day after Pentecost Sunday. It acknowledges the role Mary played in supporting the Apostles after the Resurrection and her presence at Pentecost when the Church was formed. On Monday 21st May, the day after Pentecost Sunday, the new Shrine of our Lady called Mary, Mother of The Church was dedicated and blessed at the 9.30am Mass in Mary Immaculate Church. This Shrine to Mary celebrates the Golden Jubilee of our Parish and is available to people for their private prayers and devotion to Mary Mother of God. Our thanks to Michael Clancy Builders who constructed the Shrine, and the Sisters of Mercy for donating the Statue of Mary. It’s previous life was in St. Xavier’s Convent of Mercy, Ennis. To Colette Loughran, who painted the Statue, Fr. John Buckley, PP Kileentierna, Co. Kerry and his Parishioners who donated the Candleabra, Colm Roche, Electrician and LCE, Smithstown for the graphics and signage.

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Painting SS John & Paul Church May 2018

Painting of both the interior and exterior of SS John & Paul Church began early on Monday 21st May. During this time the Church continued to be open for prayer and Mass. Our thanks to Martin Monaghan and Damien Lindsay who carried out the work.

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Darkness into Light Walk 120518

Darkness into Light in recent years has become a phenomenon for Pieta House suicide prevention charity as thousands of Irish people line the streets and lanes of Ireland at 4.15am on a Saturday morning in May walking or running to raise funds. In Shannon on Saturday 12th May 1300 people got up and walked the walk to show their support for Pieta House and the great work they do in suicide prevention. Our thanks to the local committee who organise the event locally and to Joe Buckley for the photos.

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Apostolic Workers Annual Display Spring 2018

On Sunday 29th April the local branch of the Apostolic Workers held their annual display in St. Patrick’s Comprehensive School. The work of the past year was on display before it begins its journey to the missions. Our thanks to all the members and to the many parishioners who support this very important and valuable work of assisting the missions. The local branch presented Fr. Francis Xavier with a set of vestments and Mass Kit for him to bring home to India as a mark of appreciation for the new link and connection the parish has with his presence and the church in India.

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First Holy Communion 2018

On a glorious Saturday 28th April three of our schools celebrated First Holy Communion at three different ceremonies in both Mary Immaculate and SS John & Paul Church. The children from St Conaire’s celebrated in SS John & Paul Church and in Mary Immaculate Church it was the turn of St. Tola’s school. In the afternoon Gaelscoil Donncha Rua to receive the sacrament. On Saturday 5th May 20 children from St Senan’s school celebrated First Holy Communion at the 12 noon Mass. The children were prepared by their teacher Mrs Kelly McCarthy and the choir of the school under the direction of Ms. Kate Lynch accompanied by Annette on the organ provided beautiful music and song for this special occasion. St. Aidan’s school celebrated First Holy Communion on Saturday 19th May in glorious sunshine in SS. John & Paul Church. We congratulate the boys and girls and thank their teacher Ms. Scanlon and the school choir for all the work of preparation that made the day so special and prayerful. We thank all the children who generously shared some of their generosity they received on the occasion of First Holy Communion and Confirmation with the children of Kenya. Our thanks to all the schools, Principals, Teachers, school staff, our sacristans Mary & Michelle, choirs and musicians and our parish community who prayerfully supported those preparing for sacraments. Thanks to Joe Buckley for the photographs.

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Official Opening of St. Patrick's Comprehensive School Extension 270418

Minister for Education and Skills Mr Richard Bruton TD and Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe who are joint Trustees of St Patrick’s Comprehensive School were present in the school on Friday 27th April for the official opening and Blessing of the newly built extension to the school. Morgan Heaphy, Principal of St Patrick’s Comprehensive School, welcomed all invited guests and students and invited David Deighan, Chairman of the Board of Management, to address the gathering. Minister Bruton then spoke before Bishop Fintan blessed the building and the school community. At the conclusion of the ceremony the Minister unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion. Among the guests present on the day were local public representatives and representatives from the local primary schools and retired teachers of the school including the first ever principal of St Patrick’s Comprehensive school, Diarmaid Ó Donneabháin and his wife Renee.

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Confirmation 2018

On Tuesday 17th April we welcomed Bishop Fintan to the parish where he confirmed 42 pupils from St. Conaire’s school at a ceremony in SS John & Paul Church. The school choir provided beautiful instrumental music and singing for the occasion. After the ceremony Bishop Fintan spent time with the teachers and families. On Wednesday 18th April, Bishop Fintan began the day by confirming 41 pupils from St Senan’s, St Tola’s, Gaelscoil Donncha Rua, St John’s, and one pupil from St Anne’s School, Ennis at a ceremony in Mary Immaculate Church. This year the host choir was from St. Senan’s school conducted by Kate Lynch with organist Annette Ahlsved. In the afternoon Bishop Fintan concluded his visit to the parish with the celebration of Confirmation for 41 pupils from St. Aidan’s School. Renee Hayes conducted the choir with Doireann Wylde and Don O’Sullivan joining musicians from the school. Our thanks to all involved in helping our young people prepare for the sacrament, our teachers, school staff, Faith Friends Leaders, our sacristans, Mary Coneely and Michelle Justice, Joe Buckley for photographs and Theresa Campbell, our website manager. Our thanks to Joe Buckley for the photos.

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St Caimins Plaque Presentation 170418

Bishop Fintan paid his first official visit to St. Caimin’s School on Tuesday 17th April to meet with the Junior Conference of St. Vincent de Paul in the school. On arrival Bishop Fintan was greeted by the school Conference of St. Vincent de Paul, Ms. Claire Knight, School Principal, Sr. Ena, Chairperson of the Board of Management, Ms. Niamh McDonald. teacher and area President of St. Vincent de Paul in Co. Clare, and Ms Sharon Bulfin, School Chaplain. Ms Bulfin, who hosted the gathering, introduced Ms Knight and Bishop Fintan to the group. The gathering was an opportunity for Bishop Fintan to thank the school for their social justice awareness through their involvement with St. Vincent de Paul and supporting the work of Trócaire. Bishop Fintan presented Ms. Bulfin with a plaque on behalf of Trócaire in acknowledgment of the €86,000 that the school has collected to date for Trocaire. Bishop Fintan spoke about his visits to Malawai and Kenya with Trócaire to see the work which the donations collected at home does in far away places and how it changes people’s lives for the better. The gathering concluded with tea and coffee and a time to chat with Bishop Fintan.

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Installation of Stained Glass Window 120418

Following the Confirmation ceremony on Tuesday 17th April, Bishop Fintan blessed and dedicated the newly installed stained glass window of St. John Paul in the Church of SS John & Paul. This work was commissioned by the parish last year to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the parish 1967-2017. The work depicts a photo of Pope John Paul II taken on the steps of the Aer Lingus plane at Shannon Airport on the 1st October 1979 as he gave his final blessing to Ireland on the first ever visit to the country by a Pope. The work was created by a Derry City Art Glass Company. The photograph is the work of the late Padraig O’Reilly from Fergus Drive, Shannon, and he took it on his first assignment as a freelance photographer for the Clare Champion newspaper. His wife Mary and son Padraig attended the dedication with Bishop Fintan. We acknowledge the support we have received from the staff of Art Glass Ireland, Christy Collins who painted the frame of the window, The O’Reilly family who gave us permission to use the photograph and the many people who have made donations and contributions to date towards the cost involved. Thanks to Joe Buckley and Padraig O’Reilly for the photos.

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Blessing of Orthodox Easter Food 070418

Parishioners from The Ukraine, Estonia, Russia and many other east European countries gathered in SS John & Paul Church on the eve of the Orthodox Easter which is celebrated on 8th April this year. Fr Dariusz, our Polish Chaplain presided at the Blessing.

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Easter 2018

Holy Week celebrations began at the Vigil Mass on Saturday evening when Fr. Tom blessed the palm. At 10am on Sunday morning Fr. Arnold and the folk group led the Liturgy at the Jubilee Garden. Fr. Francis Xavier and the choir of Mary Immaculate Church continued the celebrations at 11am. Fr. Tom was joined by Bishop Willie Walsh and Fr. Peadar O’Loughlin SSC for the final Mass of Palm Sunday. The senior choir of SS John & Paul Church led by its director, Mary Lahiff, led the procession from the Jubilee Garden of SS John & Paul Church for the celebration of Sunday Eucharist. Our thanks to Michelle Justice for the photos. Bishop Fintan was joined by the Priests of the Diocese, our Deacon Martin Shanahan, and parishioners from many parishes throughout the Diocese for the annual Mass of Chrism in the Cathedral of SS. Peter & Paul Ennis on Wednesday evening. At this Mass the Holy Oils used in the celebration of the sacraments in the Diocese throughout the coming year were blessed by Bishop Fintan. The oil of Cathecumen used in Baptism , the oil of Chrism used in Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination and the oil of the Sick. Bishop Fintan invites the priests present with the support of the people to renew their Priestly commitment. After Mass the priests gathered in the Chapter Room of the Cathedral to bring the Holy oils home to their respective parishes. All the priests of the parish concelebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening in SS John & Paul Church. Fr Arnold was the principal celebrant and washed the feet of some parishioners. Mary Hynds, on behalf of parishioners, invited the priests to renew their commitment to priesthood. At the end of the Mass the procession to the Altar of repose in Cuan Na nÓg took place where a vigil of watching and waiting was held until 10pm. The highlight of Holy week is the Easter Vigil. This year it was celebrated in SS. John & Paul Church at 9pm on Holy Saturday. All the priests of the parish concelebrated and Fr Tom presided. The Blessing of the Easter fire took place in the Jubilee Garden of SS John & Paul Church. The Senior Choir of the Church, under the direction of Mary Lahiff, enhanced the celebration with beautiful music and singing. As the Dawn broke in Shannon on Easter Sunday hundreds of people gathered in the cold but beautiful morning in Illaunmanagh Cemetery for the celebration of Dawn Easter Mass. Fr Arnold celebrated the Eucharist, assisted by the priests of the parish. The Folk Group provided the music and singing and thanks to Christy Collins and Colin Fogarty for the Easter Fire. Our thanks to Michelle Justice and Joe Buckley for the photos.

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Blessing of Easter Food 2018

Fr Tom presided at the annual gathering of Polish people and people from other countries who come on Holy Saturday to SS John & Paul Church for the Annual Blessing of Food. This beautiful tradition has come to us in Ireland from Poland. On Holy Saturday people come to Church to have the food for Easter Breakfast blessed in thanksgiving for the gift of Christ's Resurrection. Our thanks to Michelle Justice for the photos.

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St Patrick's Day 2018

The celebrations for the Feast of St. Patrick began with the traditional Blessing of the Shamrock in the Jubilee Garden of SS John & Paul Church before the 10am Mass. Members of the 22nd Battalion Association provided military honours at Mass. Fr Francis Xavier celebrated his first St Patrick’s Day in Ireland at the 11am Mass. At Mass we met St Patrick himself in the person of Pat Fitzgerald from O’Brien Park who was celebrating his 60th birthday. Fr Francis Xavier gave Pat a Blessing for the day. Fr. Arnold celebrated the last Mass of the day at 12.15pm in both Irish and English. In the afternoon the celebrations moved to the Town Centre for the parade. Our thanks to Michelle Justice & Joe Buckley for photos.

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Improvements to Mary Immaculate Church 2018

Work began on Tuesday 30th January in Mary Immaculate Church on the construction of a shrine in honour of Mary the Mother of God. This is to acknowledge the Golden Jubilee of the church which is dedicated to Mary Mother of God. The new shrine will be located in the old Confessional Box on the Boyne Park side of the Church. In addition more space is being provided to store equipment needed in the Liturgy as well as electrical and other improvements. While the work is in progress access to the Church will be through the centre aisle and the church continues to be open daily for Mass, prayer and visits. Our thanks to Michael Clancy who is carrying out the work.

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Catholic Schools Week 2018

The annual pilgrimage to celebrate the life and story of St. Conaire took place for 5th class in St. Conaire’s school on Monday 29th January. January 28th is the Feast of St Conaire and this year the school will begin their 50th celebrations. The day began with a liturgy and time of prayer in St. Conaire’s Church in Carrigerry. This was followed by a visit to the ruins of Cill Chonaire in Rinneanna. Here the children explored the old Church, ancient graves and got a sense of history and tradition. St Tola’s pupils in 1st, 4th and 6th classes joined the congregation for the weekly Novena to St. Anthony. After Mass Fr Arnold gave a talk on the World Meeting of Families. 4th and 6th classes celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In Senan’s and St Patrick’s Comprehensive schools preparations were continuing with the making of St Bridget’s Crosses and the sharing of stories associated with the Saint. Children preparing for First Holy Communion from St Conaire’s school took part in a guided time of Eucharistic adoration in the Adoration Chapel led by Fr Tom & Fr Francis Xavier. Children from the Gael Scoil celebrated First Confession in the afternoon as did the children from St Tola’s school in the evening. Wednesday, the Feast of St John Bosco, began with St Senan’s school participating in the morning Mass in Mary Immaculate Church. The school shared St Bridget’s Crosses with the congregation at the end of Mass as a token of appreciation for the close bonds that exist between the school and the community. After Mass St Senan’s welcomed grandparents to the school where they spent time with their grandchildren in their classroom and shared memories. The morning concluded with tea and coffee in the school. St Tola’s St Conaires and St Aidan’s schools also celebrated Grandparents Day by welcoming grandparents to their schools and to SS John & Paul Church. Lá Feile Bríde began with a visit to St. Senan’s school by Fr francis Xavier. He took time for the children to share with him the story of St. Bridget which he was learning for the first time. Children from St. Tola’s school took part in the morning Mass in Mary Immaculate Church and in a talk on the WMOF. They also celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Junior Conference of St. Vincent de Paul from St. Caimin’s school accompanied by their Chaplain Ms. McDonald, visited 6th class in St Conaire’s school and shared with them the work they do in St. Vincent de Paul. Students from St Patrick’s Comprehensive School, and their Chaplain Ms. Murray, visited Carrigoran Nursing Home for the celebration of St. Bridget’s Day. They joined the residents in the 10.30am morning Mass and took part in the Blessing of the Crosses. After Mass they visited residents with a gift of a St. Bridget Cross. The students also provided musical entertainment for the residents. St Conaire’s school held a St Bridget Day Cross making session and shared the story and the tradition. Gaelscoil Donncha Rua held Grandparents Day in the Adoration Chapel and St Aidan’s school celebrated First Confession. The Family resource Centre had their annual St Bridget’s Day Festival with the making of the Crosses which Fr Tom blessed before a celebratory lunch was held. It is now part of Shannon parish tradition that Mass in the Convent Oratory on the First Friday of February is offered for all deceased teachers and school staff of all schools in Shannon. The list of those who have died for each school is called out at the beginning of Mass. Many current and retired teachers attend this Mass and it is well established as part of Catholic schools week. At the 9.30am Morning Mass, the students from St Caimin’s Community school, who are members of the Junior Conference of St Vincent de Paul in the school, hosted a coffee morning after Mass for parishioners. The students also took part in the liturgy of the Mass by reading and the Prayers of the Faithful. First class students from St Conaire’s took part in a Creation Pilgrimage Walk around Shannon. Pope Francis’s encyclical Letter, Laudato Si on the care of our common home, the earth, encourages us all to view and respect creation and the environment. This annual walk gives the children an opportunity to see and appreciate the importance for caring for creation as well as some healthy exercise. Our thanks to Fr Arnold and the schools for the photos.

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Natural Gas Conversion 2018

Work which began on Monday 29th January in converting the heating system in SS John & Paul Church to Natural Gas was completed on Friday 9th February. Since the opening of the Church in 1980 the heating system has used oil but now to be more efficient and with natural gas flowing beside the Church, the decision was made to convert to gas. The result will be an improved heating system with reduced costs. Our thanks for your patience and understanding as the work was carried out. Thanks to Bord Gáis Networks Ireland, and J & M McBride.

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Blessing of Babies 070118

On a glorious January Sunday afternoon babies who were baptised in the parish of Shannon in 2017 were brought to SS John & Paul Church for the annual Blessing of Babies on the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. In 2017 119 children were baptised in the parish and our annual gathering is to give support to their parents in the development of faith in their child. Our thanks to the Shannon Folk Group for music and the Baptismal team who co-ordinate this ministry. Our thanks to Michelle Justice for the photos

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Christmas 2017

Bishop Fintan Monahan began our celebration of Christmas in Shannon when he celebrated Mass for children and young people in Mary Immaculate Church. This celebration was exactly 50 years to the day when when Shannon parishioners first gathered in Mary Immaculate Church for the first time as an Independent Parish. Shannon Gospel Choir provided the music and Maria and Orlaith from our Youth ministry co-ordinated the Liturgy. Great crowds attended the Christmas Eve Masses in both Mary Immaculate and SS John & Paul Church at 10pm where the singing was superb. On Christmas morning our children’s Mass was celebrated in SS John & Paul Church and large numbers gathered for the other Masses in the parish. Our thanks to Joe Buckley for photos.

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Bethlehem Peace Light 221217

Scouts and cubs from Shannon along with their Leaders and families gathered in the Adoration Chapel in Skycourt on Friday 22nd December to receive the Peace Light from Bethlehem. This gathering is now part of the annual tradition in the scouting calendar in Shannon. With music and song, the scouts and cubs took time to reflect and pray as we all await the birth of the Christ Child from Bethlehem.

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Garda Christmas Party for Older People 201217

As part of the Clare Garda Division Gardaí stationed in Shannon invited older people living in the community to the Old Person’s Christmas Party at Wolfe Tones GAA on Tuesday 19th December. St Conaire’s and St.Caimin’s school choirs provided seasonal entertainment. Santa paid a courtesy call and the day finished off with dancing. The Gardaí were present in great numbers, served the refreshments and entertained with music and song. Our thanks to the local Gardai for this initiative and thanks to Joe Buckley for the photos.

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St. Flannans Day Mass 181217

Bishop Fintan was the chief celebrant of Mass in the chapel of St. Flannan’s College Ennis on Monday 18th December to celebrate the Feast of St. Flannan, our Diocesan Patron. Fr Iggy McCormack the College Principal preached the homily and the school choir and musicians, under the guidance of Ms. Edel Vaughan, led us in music and song. After Mass the college hosted lunch for priests of the Diocese.

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Santa Comes to Mass 171217

Shannon Parish was privileged to welcome Santa to two Masses on Sunday in which children were preparing for First Holy Communion. It was Bambinelli Sunday, The Sunday in Advent that people bring the figure of baby Jesus to Church to have it blessed. Santa brought his figure of baby Jesus for a blessing so that his crib at home in the North Pole would be ready for Christmas Eve. Santa spoke with the children and reassured them that he would be back on Christmas Eve. Our thanks to Michelle Justice for the photos.

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Festival of Cribs in Liscannor 2017

The annual Festival of Cribs took place in St Bridget’s Church Liscannor on Saturday, Sunday and Monday 16th, 17th and 18th December. The Festival of 740 cribs is organised each year by Fr Denis Crosby and his parishioners in Liscannor to celebrate the Joy of Advent in preparation for the Feast of Christmas. Cribs both big and small and from all nations of the world tell the one story of the birth of the Christ child. Well worth a visit and admission is free. Our thanks to Fr Denis and his parishioners and to Bishop Fintan for the photographs.

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Mercy on the Mall 081217

The third year of Mercy on the Mall took place in Skycourt Shopping Centre, Shannon, on Friday 8th December, the Feast of The Immaculate Conception. For five hours, from 1pm to 6pm, Bishop Fintan Monahan and 20 priests made themselves available to the public for a chat, Blessing or Confession. In this time all Priests were kept engaged with people and the feedback has been very positive and encouraging. People travelled from different counties and locally to avail of this opportunity in preparation for Christmas. St. Conaire’s School Choir provided seasonal entertainment as the public engaged with the Bishop and Priests. Our thanks to Bishop Fintan, the priests, St. Conaire’s School choir and teachers and staff, Pat Kelly and staff of Skycourt, O’Connor’s Bakery and Restaurant for refreshments. Thanks to Peter Walsh, Fr. Arnold and Joe Buckley for the photos.

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Ordination to the Diaconate of Martin Shanahan 261117

Martin Shanahan from Quilty was ordained a Deacon by Bishop Fintan Monahan in Ennis Cathedral on Sunday 26th November, the Feast of Christ the King, at 12 noon Mass. Martin will be ordained a Priest in the Summer of 2018 for service in the Diocese of Killaloe. Please pray for him as he prepares for ordination to the priesthood in the summer of 2018 in St. Mary’s Church, Mullagh.

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Pope John Paul II Awards 231117

Treacy’s West County Inn Ennis was the venue for the fourth annual presentation of the Pope John Paul II Awards to young people from all over the Diocese of Killaloe. 122 young people from Birr to Kilrush, including our own two Shannon schools, received awards from Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe. Megan Nolan from St Patrick’s Comprehensive School received a Papal award for her work with the children’s Liturgy in Mary Immaculate Church. Eoin Riordan and Caoilinn Kirby from St Patrick’s Comprehensive School and Niamh Lyons from St Caimin’s School received awards also for their contribution to their parishes and community. Our thanks to our school Chaplains, Ms. Murray, Ms. Bulfin and Ms. McDonald who are the award leaders and mentors to our young people.

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Sisters of Charity Celebrate 150th Anniversary 261017

On Thursday 26th October, Fr. Tom was the principal celebrant of a Mass of Thanksgiving for the close of the year of celebrations in Carrigoran for the foundation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. The Sisters were joined by staff bot present and retired, the residents, and priests of the parishes of Newmarket-on-Fergus and Shannon for the occasion. Our thanks to Kevin Arthur for the photos.

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Blessing of St Senans Junior Infants 261017

The Blessing for Junior Infants attending St. Senan’s school took place on Thursday 26th October in the classroom. The children welcomed their parents, grandparents, and families to celebrate with them the start of their primary education. Our thanks to Ms. Lynch their teacher, Ms Madden Classroom assistant, and Bella School Secretary. Photo Credits staff of St. Senan’s school.

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Blessing of St. Conaires Junior Infants 241017

The annual Blessing for Junior Infants who started school this year in St. Conaire’s School took place on Tuesday 24th October. Fr Tom presided at both ceremonies that took place with Ms. McMahon’s and Ms. O’Driscoll’s classes. Parents, grandparents and other family members attended. Our thanks to the boys and girls, their teachers, and staff members, who helped celebrate a very special occasion in the life of a junior infant. Thanks to St. Conaire’s School for the photos.

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Killaloe Diocesan Autumn Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2017

189 pilgrims from all over the Killaloe Diocese travelled in two separate flights from Shannon Airport for the Autumn Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes on Sunday 1st October. All flights arrived on time and pilgrims gathered in St Joseph’s Chapel for an evening Mass. Pilgrims from the parish, who are part of the Killaloe Diocesan Autumn Pilgrimage, began the first full day of their pilgrimage with the opening Mass celebrated by Fr. Tom in Mater Dolorosa Chapel. After Mass pilgrims had the opportunity for walking the The Way of The Cross. In the afternoon it time for Reconciliation with the opportunity for individual confession. The evening saw pilgrims taking part in the Marian Torchlight Procession. Canon Brendan concluded the day with night prayer and Rosary at the Grotto. Fr. Pat Mulcahy PP Lorrha, was the celebrant of Tuesday morning Mass in the Rosary Basilica. After Mass the pilgrims gathered on the steps for the traditional family pilgrimage photograph. Free time is very much part of the pilgrimage to allow pilgrims visit the grotto, go to the baths, socialize or rest. In the afternoon the Diocese participated in the Blessed Sacrament Procession in the Underground Basilica praying in a very special way for the sick. The evening gathering was in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception where Fr Brendan Quinlivan led an hour of prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. The day concluded with Fr. Tom leading night prayer and Rosary at the Grotto. Wednesday 4th October, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, began with the celebration of Mass at the Grotto presided over by Fr Brendan Quinlivan. The Mass was broadcast live on the World Wide Web. This day was also the opening day of the French National Rosary Pilgrimage led by the Dominican Order. Thousands of French people from teenagers assisting the sick to people of all ages participated; the colour and the beauty of the culture was very encouraging to see and experience. Such exposure to celebrating faith is really uplifting. In the glorious sunshine of the day many pilgrims took a half day to experience the beauty of the Pyrenees. The day concluded with night prayer and Rosary opposite the Grotto. Thursday began with pilgrims travelling to the City of the Poor for the celebration of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of the Sick. Fr. Tom was the celebrant and in the afternoon pilgrims had free time. Pilgrims all week mingled with French pilgrims on the Rosary Pilgrimage. One of the ideas shared with pilgrims were the presence of young people in different areas of the sanctuary area handing out sheets and pen for people to write and hang their petitions and prayers hang on prayer tree located beside the statue of the Crown Virgin. The day concluded with the farewell ceremony, the blessing of the Pilgrimage candle and the blessing of religious objects. Pilgrims walked in procession praying the Rosary as the pilgrimage. The Pilgrimage candle was brought to the Grotto. Ray & Sadie Smyth from the parish of Shannon and regular pilgrims on the Autumn pilgrimage had the honour of lighting the pilgrimage candle as they celebrate 60 years of Marriage this year.

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Killaloe Diocese Youth Fest 300917

Shannon was well represented at the first ever Killaloe Diocese Youth Fest which was held in St. Flannan’s College, Ennis, on Saturday 30th September. Young people from all over the Diocese of Killaloe gathered early in the morning. The day began with an opening Liturgy with Bishop Fintan. Participants had the option of choosing two workshops from tribal Drumming, Music, Mindfulness & Resilence, Peace and Justice, Creative Journaling , exploring Faith through Scripture, Social Media, Taiz,e and the most popular demand was for the workshop directed by Fr. Chris O’Donnell from Limerick. Fr Chris was earlier this year described as Ireland’s most popular priest and this was evident by the demand from young people to attend his workshops. After lunch our young people had what is called Chill Out Time with friends and music. The Rose of Clare, Aoife Murray, was present and mingled and chatted with our youth. During this time various groups ranging from Trocaire, Vocations, Radio Maria, Lourdes, John Paul II Awards, St. Vincent de Paul, had stands on display and members available to chat and engage with the young people. Bishop Fintan led the closing ceremony before all participants went outside for the release of Helium Balloons, with permission from the Irish Aviation Authority, to bring the day to a close. Our thanks to the organising committee from the Diocese, our school Chaplains, Nuala Murray & Sharon Bulfin, our Pastoral Council representatives Maria Kelly & Orlaith Morris who accompanied the young people. Our thanks also Tracy, Murray, Claire Murray, and Maria Kelly for the photos.

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Killaloe Diocesan Conference on the World Meeting of Families 230917

The Killaloe Diocese hosted a one day conference on the World Meeting of Families in the Oakwood Hotel, Shannon, on Saturday 23rd September. The day began with morning prayer led by the Shannon Folk Group. The keynote address was given by Marie Steen from the Iona Institute followed by a questions and answers session. Other speakers included Fr Harry Bohan and Martin Kennedy from the World Meeting of Families in Dublin. The day was concluded with an input from the Killaloe Diocesan Forum informing participants about the Diocesan Youth Fest which will take place on Saturday 30th September in St. Flannan’s College, Ennis. Our thanks to Fr Arnold and the Diocesan committee of WMOF who organised the conference. Thanks to Joe Buckley for the photographs.

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School Opening Masses September 2017

The past week saw different schools in the parish celebrate Liturgies at school Masses to ask God’s Blessing on the start of the new school year. Our thanks to all our school Principals, choirs, musicians, teachers, school staff, and sacristans who help make these occasions special and significant. Our thanks to Peter Walsh and Michelle Justice for the photos.

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Lufthansa Technik Turbine 25th Anniversary 1409147

On Thursday morning 14th September as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations of Lufthansa Technik in Shannon, Fr Tom led a prayer service in their Smithstown premises to celebrate the silver anniversary. Staff and management gathered in the canteen to give thanks, pray for colleagues who are sick, those who died over the 25 years, and for the protection and safety of all who work in the facility. We congratulate Lufthansa on this special occasion and thank Shane and Gillian for organising the ceremony.

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Shannon Festival 2017

Our Sunday morning 10am Mass was celebrated in the Festival Tent in Skycourt as part of Shannon Festival weekend. Thanks to our Folk Group, Michelle our Sacristan, and all who helped in anyway. Our thanks to Joe Buckley for the photos.

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Shannon Parish Golden Jubilee 2017

Bishop Fintan Monahan led the parish in the Golden Jubilee Mass of St. Senan’s Parish Shannon on Saturday 24th June when he was chief Celebrant of a concelebrated Mass on the pitch of Wolfe Tones na Sionna GAA Club. Joe Kelly, Chairman of the Pastoral Council, welcomed Bishop Fintan and the concelebrating priests, all of whom served in the parish. Frs J Minogue, Peter O’Loughlin, Seanie Murphy, Pat Mulcahy, Tom O’Gorman and Shannon native Fr Fergal O’Neill, joined Canon Brendan and Frs. Tom & Arnold in celebrating the Mass. The Mayor of Clare, Cllr Tom McNamara and his wife Mary were also present. This was the Mayor’s first engagement since his election the previous day. It was also significant as Mayor McNamara’s brother the late Fr Michael McNamara who served the parish for over half of its existence. The combined Choirs of the parish under the leadership of Mary Lahiff led the singing with Annette Ahlsved and Folk Group members providing the music. After Mass Bishop Fintan mingled with parishioners and the catering committee provided hospitality in the hall. Our thanks to Wolfe Tones na Sionna for use of their facilities and to Joe Kelly and Fionnuala Riordan who organised teams of parishioners to assist on the evening. Thanks to Sheamus O’Donoghue, Ian Gallagher, Bishop Fintan & Fr. Tom for the photos.

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Golden Jubilee of Mary Immaculate Church 091016

An important milestone in the history of Shannon took place on the Sunday 9th October when the newly ordained Bishop of Killaloe, Bishop Fintan Monahan, on his first visit to the Parish since his ordination on 25th September, celebrated the 11am Mass in Mary Immaculate Church. It was 50 years to the weekend when the Church was first blessed and dedicated. In its fifty years of service to the community, two priests have been ordained in the Church,Pat Byrne SVD from De Lacey Park and Fergal O’Neill, Ballycaseymore Hill. Both Fr Pat & Fr Fergal joined the priests of the parish, Fr Tom, Canon Brendan and Fr Arnold in celebrating the Mass of Thanksgiving with Bishop Fintan. As part of the celebrations in this Year of Mercy and the Golden Jubilee of the Church, the Room of Mercy, Seomra na Trócaire, was officially blessed and dedicated by Bishop Fintan. This Room of Mercy, Seomra na Trócaire, will facilitate the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our thanks to Seamus O’Donoghue & Fr. Tom for the photos.

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Diamond Jubilee of Canon O Donoghue

Friday 17th June 2016 was a very special day in the life of Shannon Parish as the community gathered in Mary Immaculate Church to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the Ordination to the Priesthood of Canon Brendan O’Donoghue. On 17th June 1956 in St. Patrick’s College Maynooth, Canon Brendan along with his classmates Canon Reuben Butler, Pat Taaffe, and Seamus Mullin were ordained priests for service in the Diocese of Killaoe. Fr Pat Carmody, Cooraclare was ordained the previous week in St Patrick’s College, Carlow. On Friday night all five priests who between them have given 300 years of service to the diocese and Church celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving. They were joined by Bishop Willie Walsh, and Fr Des Hillery, Diocesan Administrator, and other priests who had worked with Canon Brendan for the Mass. Canon Brendan was joined by his family, from Offaly, Dublin and the United States for the occasion. The combined choirs of the parish sang at the Mass and after Mass hospitality was proved by the parish in St. Senan’s school. We congratulate Canon Brendan and his classmates and wish them every blessing for years to come. Our thanks to Joe Buckley for the photos.

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Planting the Tree of Hope 021114

Planting a Tree of Hope is intended to show support and to provide a place of comfort for those who have been bereaved by suicide or who are living with mental health issues such as depression. The Pastoral Council were approached with a request that a Tree of Hope be planted in Shannon Parish and Noreen Bracken planted the tree, a crab tree, next to the statue in Illaunmanagh Cemetery on Sunday 2nd November, All Souls Day. Balloons were then released in honour of those that we were thinking of. The planting of the Tree of Hope was the first to take place outside of Dublin. Our thanks to Niall & Noreen Fulham for providing all of the information required and for the hand carved stake for the tree, and also to Noreen Bracken for the suggestion. Visit the Facebook page for further information. Our thanks to Joe Buckley for the photographs.

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The Eucharistic Adoration Chapel, Skycourt Shopping Centre, Shannon

On Tuesday 8th December 2009, the Adoration Chapel in Skycourt was officially opened and blessed by Bishop Walsh.

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