Hundreds show solidarity at 'Mass of Hope'
Published 16/04/2015 | 02:30
A proud farming community did the only thing locals felt they could do. They knelt together and prayed.
Hundreds packed the tiny Church of St Michael the Archangel in Analeentha in north Cork for what parish priest Fr Joe O'Keeffe described as "a Mass of Hope".
The small church, located close to Karen Buckley's family home, has a capacity of just 300 and hundreds more were forced to gather outside.
People travelled from Mallow, Burnfort, Drommahane, Banteer and Donoughmore to show their solidarity with a family enduring every parent's worst nightmare.
Bishop of Cloyne Dr William Crean added his voice to the community's support for Karen's parents, John (62) and Marian (61).
"I wish to offer prayerful support to the Buckley family at this painful time as they await the safe return of Karen," Dr Crean said.
"We have all been deeply touched by the unconditional love expressed by John and Marian for their daughter.
"I ask the Mourneabbey community to join with me in prayer for the safe return of Karen."
Fr O'Keeffe admitted the community was "very downbeat" after the past four days.
"This is a particularly difficult and painful time for the Buckley family and indeed for all of us.
"The Buckley family are in our thoughts and our prayers and will continue to be until there is a final outcome to this situation," he said.
"This is a small parish community and a close-knit one".
A Mass is also expected to take place tonight in Galbally church, Co Limerick, where Marian is originally from.