Tuesday 15 October 2019

New hall hosts open day

Margaret Roddy

A special family open day is set to take place on the afternoon of Sunday May 15 to mark the opening of the new of St Gerard's Hall.

The state of the art community hall, which includes a number of meeting rooms as well as kitchen facilities, replaces the old St Gerard's Hall which was demolished as part of the extensive works programme at St Joseph's Redemptorist Church and Monastery over the past three years.

With plans in progress for the Family Open Day, the organising committee have decide to feature a 'Down memory Lane' exhibition and are calling on as many people as possible who may have a special photo or memorabilia - with a story behind it - to donate the item for the day.

Organising Committee Chairperson, Catherine Shaw explained:'The Family Open Day will feature the work of the current ministries and will incorporate all age groups from children to senior citizens. But these are not new ministries. St Joseph's has always played a huge role in the community here and the Redemptorist has been the backdrop for many occasions.

'We would love if people have photographs or items that evoke special memories that the share them with us for the day,.' she continued. ' Perhaps a couple met at the Novena and later married in the Church.

'Or perhaps a family were involved in a number of ministries and have photos of their families on various occasions. Maybe someone received a Papal Medal at a special ceremony in the Church. The possibilities, we are finding out, are endless.'

The hall has also been at the centre of community for many years and was used by various local community, voluntary, social and sporting groups.

Indeed, a number of these organisations have already resumed activities in the new building and they will have exhibition stands on the open day, highlighting the work they do in the community.

'We want to feature a selection of these images etc in an exhibition on May 19th where Nicky McCourt will be on hand to talk through the various photos, exhibits etc for everyone in attendance,' explained Catherine.

'It's a way to bring past and present together and look forward to a bright future in St Joseph's for everyone.'

If anyone would like to donate items please bring them to the Church Reception. All originals will be returned.

The new hall is just part of extensive works undertaken by the Redemptorist community in Dundalk, which included the refurbishment of the monastery, an archive, central library and communications office.

The works were funded by the Redemptorist Community in Ireland.

Members of the local community moved back into the Monastery in December, said Fr Brendan Callinan.

He said that the bulk of the work which got underway in 2016 has been completed and he looked forward to welcoming people to the open day in May.

The Argus