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A hug a week

Europe and the rest of the world celebrated the new year in a spectacular way and in glorious colour.

A multi-million-dollar fireworks display heralded the New Year in Sydney. In New York, the mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and singer Lady Gaga counted the seconds to midnight. In Tokyo, people released helium balloons with notes attached listing their hopes for 2012.

I feel it in my bones that 2012 will be good for most in Ireland, even against all the odds.

For years, I used to celebrate the new year outside Christ Church Cathedral, the ancient medieval and historical area in Dublin. There was always a great atmosphere there, as I'm sure there was this year.

This year, it was celebration all the way in St Brigid's church in Kill, Co Kildare, on New Year's Day. After Mass we all hugged one another, shook hands and wished one another peace and goodwill.

It was an amazing morning and I only wish it could happen every Sunday, or even one Sunday in the month -- a hug every day to wish one another peace and joy in Jesus's name. It would be better than a prescription tablet -- a simple prescription for life to help with loneliness.

How come a Jesus of two billion Christians only gets publicity at Christmas and Easter? Where is the understanding in that? Happy new year.

Ms Terry Healy

Kill, Co Kildare

Irish Independent