News in Brief

News in Brief President Michael D. Higgins.
President praises church famine appeal

President Michael D. Higgins has paid tribute to the decision by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference to organise special collections at churches across Ireland this weekend, to raise funds for people affected by the famine in East-Africa. He called on all Irish citizens and organisations to take this call as an example, and to respond with their traditional generosity.

“Irish Aid and the Irish NGO’s and missionary organisations are already providing highly effective assistance to millions of people across the region. But a greater response is required,” President Higgins said.

“We urgently need a renewed global effort to help prevent the deaths of millions of poor and marginalised people.”


Sr Stan honoured for charity work

Homeless champion Sr Stan Kennedy received a special award at the weekend for her significant contribution to Ireland.

Sr Stan, who has been a member of the congregation of Religious Sisters of Charity since 1958, was presented with the 2017 Fitzgerald Bible Bruff Award at the Thomas Fitzgerald Centre in Co. Limerick.

She received the award in recognition of her lifelong contribution and work with and on behalf of “the poor, the homeless and the abused in Ireland”.

Committee chairman Paul Dennehy said “Sr Stanislaus Kennedy is a most deserving recipient”, adding that he was delighted that she accepted the award.


Temporary relocation for Belfast parish

Masses will not be celebrated at the oldest Catholic Church in Belfast for a month, and will instead shift to a nearby building as extensive restoration work at the church continues.

St Mary’s, in Chapel Lane in the city centre, where Mass was first celebrated in 1784, has been undergoing both external and internal restoration since May. Masses were celebrated as normal at the church until this week.

In a message to parishioners in the weekly bulletin, the parish administrator, Fr James Boyle, wrote that all Masses for “about four weeks” will be said daily at Living Youth, which can be accessed via Chapel Lane.

It will still be possible to enter the church to pray, light candles and make donations.


Mill Hill Fathers bid farewell to Kilkenny

Tribute has been paid to the Mill Hill Fathers as they prepare to leave Kilkenny, having had a presence there and within the Diocese of Ossory since 1932.

“There is a deep regret in the diocese at the departure of the Mill Hill Fathers. I know the faithful will miss the quiet ministry that was characteristic of the house,” said Msgr Michael Ryan, Administrator of Ossory diocese.

The Mill Hill Fathers moved to St Joseph’s on the Waterford Road in Kilkenny in 1989, after a 60-year residency in the then Junior Seminary in Uppercourt, Freshford in 1932.

The move now is primarily due to the age profile of the members and the shortage of vocations.