Tuesday 23 July 2019

Ballyhea Parish Annual out now

Mike McGrath's Charleville

The very progressive parish priest of Ballyhea, Right Reverend Monsignor James O'Brien, produced a very attractive Ballyhea Parish Annual over the Christmas period, which presented a cross section of the parish and of the groups and organisations that work throughout the year for the benefit of the local community.

The book records the visit of the group of parishioners from the Archdiocese of Toledo in Spain that visited Ballyhea en route to the World Gathering of Families hosted by Pope Francis at Croke Park and in the Phoenix Park in Dublin last August.

The activities of the Ballyhea National School and pre-school is recounted, as are those of the community council, the GAA, the Society of the St. Vincent de Paul, the Gun Club and Community Alert, as well as Charleville Agricultural Show, whose grounds are also located within the parish.

Looking back in history, the annual recalls and pays tribute to the many religious vocations to the priesthood and the religious life that have emanated from the parish, especially the priests and nuns who have worked selflessly on the missions spreading the Gospel of Christ to the farthest ends of the earth. "They serve as an inspiration for the youth of the parish to follow in their footsteps," states the article.

As 2018 also marked the centenary of the end of the Great War there is also a brief account of the War Chaplains from the diocese of Cloyne who served in the trenches of Flanders.

There is also a piece on the architect who built the church, which is particularly relevant to today given that the windows are being replaced along with other renovations in the local St. Mary's Church.

The annual is a 'must' for anybody from the Ballyhea parish, be they living presently in the parish, anywhere in Ireland or abroad to keep them abreast of life as it is lived today in their native locality.