Honouring the Memory of Our Dead this November

From earliest times, the Church has honoured the memory of the dead with great respect. The month of November is set aside as a month of prayer and remembrance, particularly for those who have died during the year.

This November, our remembering is especially poignant. We are experiencing a period of hardship and sacrifice due to the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to disrupt the lives of so many people. The virus has already taken the lives of nearly 2700 people across the island of Ireland – mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles – and each death has brought sadness and grief to those who miss their loved ones deeply.

In the midst of such a crisis we might overlook families whose loved ones have died recently from other illnesses or in tragic circumstances. Like the relatives of the victims of COVID-19, they too have been unable to engage fully in the customary rituals that normally mark the death of a loved one in this country. Restrictions have impacted on wakes, gatherings of extended family and friends at the funeral, and in some cases only a committal service attended by a small amount of mourners has been possible. During November, we have another opportunity to acknowledge the pain and hurt that families have endured and to assure them of consolation through our prayer and our sympathy. As St Paul wrote to the Romans: “Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ”.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have rightly marked the personal sacrifices of our health workers, carers, and many others who provide our essential services. We also recognise the dedication and service of priests and lay people who selflessly reach out as hospital chaplains or in other parish ministry. Their pastoral care is bringing comfort and healing to those who are anxious because of a relative’s illness or who are feeling the loss and pain of bereavement. Their commitment and dedication is greatly appreciated.

We are dedicating this month of November as a time of remembrance and prayer for all those who have died since this time last year, whatever the cause.

This pandemic, unfortunately, has not gone away and will most likely be with us for the foreseeable future. With faith, hope, and love, we are called to support one another so that we will emerge stronger and more resilient from this testing time. In the difficult times of the past, our ancestors looked to their faith in Christ for light in the darkness, for hope against despair. We do so again, confident that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that God brings comfort to those who are anxious, healing to the sick, and eternal rest and peace to the dead.

Remembering Our Dead in November

While there are no public masses being celebrated during the present lockdown, the churches will remain open during daylight hours. November is our special month of prayer and remembrance for our departed loved ones. In Banogue and Croom churches we have installed a special November cross in memory of the Holy Souls. Personalised Loving Memory candles will be available to light and placed on this candelabra during the month of November.

The Mass of Remembrance for those who have died since last November will take place on Sunday the 8th of November – Banogue 10:00am, Croom 11:30am

Banogue deaths: Nora Collins (Banogue Cross), Lucy Sheehan (Pullough), Bridget Griffin (Liskennett), Tom Biggene (Ballyculleen), Ger Scully (Ballyphillip), Mary Cagney (Morenene), Liam Chawke (Dohora), and Jack Scanlon (Banogue).

Croom deaths: Teresa Bennett (Skagh), Mary Mangan (Elm Park), Kathleen Moloney (St. Senan’s Terrace), Anna Moloney (Skagh), Michael O’Brien (Church Road), Mary O’Rourke (Ballinahown), John Morrissey (Caherdavin), and Steven Cregan (Caherass).

COVID-19 Support Line for Older People

ALONE manage a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19. Professional staff are available to answer queries and give advice and reassurance where necessary. The support line is open seven days a day from 8am to 8pm by calling 0818 222 024.

Message from Principal Emmett Murphy

Dear Graduating Students, Parents & Guardians,

I would like to start by congratulating you on reaching the end of your primary education in St. Mary’s National School, Croom. You have been an incredible class group and have left a great legacy as role models and friends for all the staff and students in our school.

The last few months have been unprecedented and challenging for everyone. The spread of Covid-19 has impacted our lives in ways that were impossible to imagine just a few months ago and reads like a far-fetched science fiction book. The disease seemed so distant from our lives here in Croom until it was on our doorstep, threatening our friends and family members.

This struggle and the obstacles we continue to face are leading us to think and act differently. Socialising, sport, travel and, indeed, learning, may never be quite the same again, but there are positive lessons that we must embrace from this pandemic. Lessons that show us that family, friends, and community are what are truly important to us all.

This sixth class of 2020 will always be remembered in history as the challenges you have faced are different to any other graduating class in more than 150 years of our school. The fact that you have adapted and successfully navigated these times will stand you in good stead moving forward on your exciting journey to second level education.

Thank you to all the parents/guardians for your patience in accepting and, in many cases, upskilling to a new method of teaching and learning that was foreign to us all just four months ago. We acknowledge that these times have been extremely difficult for all parents/guardians who are trying to juggle education and working from home.

The staff at St. Mary’s hope to have all our students returned to school on a full time basis this September, but it remains to be seen if this will be possible as nothing now can be taken for granted. Different scenarios have been discussed by the government and recommendations are still uncertain. What we do know is that when we open our doors on August 31st it will be unlike any other Term One the school has ever seen. The board, the school management, and the staff will all strive to create the safest possible environment for your child(ren) on their return. There will be restrictions around movement for children and parents, there will be different routines to adapt to and it may all evolve and change from week to week as new guidelines are issued. We again ask for co-operation through all of this as we draft a plan for the return to school to be shared with you this August in preparation for reopening.

Finally, and most importantly here, to our graduating students, we will have you back to the school under normal circumstances, whenever that may be in the future, to celebrate your achievement in our school hall. We hope you will return at that time to mark your years in our school and let us acknowledge your input to St. Mary’s National School. For now, we all send you our best wishes on your journey through second level. We know that each of you will be a success.

Thank you and stay safe,

Mr Emmett Murphy

Sixth Class of 2020

The Sunday morning mass in Banogue and the Saturday evening mass in Croom this weekend were a celebration of the sixth class children who are graduating this year. There will be no formal ceremony for them but they will not be forgotten. Indeed they will be remembered more than most because of the Covid pandemic and in time to come they will be more etched in memory because of the fact that they have missed the final term in their school year. We congratulate them and wish all of them every success as they move on to second level education. We thank the parents, teachers, and all other staff who have coped admirably in these extremely difficult circumstances.

I am confident that your experiences over the past few months will stand you in good stead for your years ahead and that you will have the assurance and strength to cope with the challenges of life. Again all of us congratulate the class of 2020 from St. Mary’s National School, Croom, and Banogue Primary School.

Resumption of Masses

Masses can resume on June 29th. There will be strict guidelines so that churches will be safe environments for churchgoers. All churches are asked to provide volunteers to assist stewarding for the weekend masses. We would be delighted to have stewards in place for the weekend of July 5th. If interested please contact the Sacristans, Canon Fitzmaurice, or Father O’Brien.

The Limerick Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes

The Limerick Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2020 will be celebrated this year via social media – a virtual pilgrimage. There will be celebrations of the Eucharist and afternoon liturgies on the four days of the pilgrimage, from Friday 19th June to Monday 22nd June.

Mass will be celebrated each day at 12 noon except on Sunday when it will be at 10:00a.m. linking in with Abbeyfeale Parish mass via West Limerick 102. The afternoon liturgies will take place at 4:30p.m. each day except on Monday when the closing ceremony will take place at 8:00p.m.

Bishop Leahy will celebrate the Opening Mass of the Lourdes Pilgrimage 2020 from the Cathedral on Friday 19th at 12 noon.

The afternoon liturgies will try to reflect the traditional Lourdes programme as much as possible: Stations of the Cross, Rosary and Benediction, Healing/Washing Ceremony (Baths), Eucharistic Adoration.

Details of the ceremonies are available on the Diocesan website.

Mass Announcement (Croom & Banogue)

As you are probably aware, the go-ahead has been given for masses to take place from June 29th. All churches will have to conform to the strict guidelines in relation to social distancing and to ensure that as far as possible churches will be safe places for all those attending. Online services will continue in the meantime and into the future.

There are now facilities put in place for live streaming from Banogue Church.

Mass times:

Banogue

  • Tuesday 10:00a.m.
  • Thursday 10:00a.m.
  • Sunday 10:00a.m.

Croom

  • Monday 10:00a.m.
  • Wednesday 10:00a.m.
  • Friday 10:00a.m.
  • Saturday 7:00p.m.
  • Sunday 11:30a.m.

The above arrangements will continue until Sunday 28th June.

Cemetery masses:

Croom – Monday 13th July 7:30p.m.

Banogue – Monday 27th July 7:30p.m.

Message for First Communions

This has been a difficult time for parents and children who were due to make their First Holy Communion in May. It is hoped that a definite date can be announced as soon as possible. We have to wait for the proposed road map for the reopening of primary schools in September. This is due to be confirmed within the next couple of weeks and then it will be possible to give definite dates for both Croom and Banogue.

The masses at the weekend (Croom – Saturday 7:00p.m. and Banogue – Sunday 10:00a.m.) will focus on the children who will be making their First Communion this year.