Thursday 20 June 2019

50 years a-glowing

Community and clergy in Boherbue celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and what it means to the locality

Sheila Fitzgerald

Memories spanning 50 years were recounted, old friends reconnected, and both locals and visitors enjoyed a wonderful evening when the Golden Jubilee of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Boherbue was celebrated recently.

Kiskeam Brass Band launched the event on a high note as people were arriving, and the music continued to resonate during the Mass when Kiskeam and Boherbue Choirs joined forces, delivering a superb performance.

Parish Council chairman Ned Vaughan welcomed everyone to the Mass which was celebrated by Fr. Jim Kennelly PP, who was joined by Bishop Ray Browne and 11 visiting priests.

Local people took part in the Readings, the Presentation of Symbols, and brought up the Eucharistic Gifts. In his homily, Fr. Kennelly outlined the history of the history of the building of the church, which started in 1976.

"This church was built at a time of great renewal in the Church; in truth, it has experienced a truly momentous 50 years in the life of the Church all over the world and, in particular, in its life in Ireland" Fr. Jim said.

"50 years later, much has changed and indeed some of that change is to be welcomed. Lay involvement in the life of this church and of this parish is exemplary, with generous people volunteering and helping across the board and that is wonderful. However, there is every need to highlight that the shortage of priests is a growing concern and that a younger generation now lives at a greater distance from the church and so the level at which the Church here in our community will find itself in the future cannot be predicted," he noted.

"Tonight we remember that those who have gone before us have created here a place that is a worthy setting where we as a community can deepen and sustain our faith, and help a new generation to express their own faith in their own way, in this their own place. May God be with us in the next stage of our life's journey," he added.

Bishop Ray Browne, addressing the congregation, paid tribute to the present parishioners for their voluntary work in keeping the church in the wonderful condition it is in today.

"This building has been God's home for his family in Boherbue Parish during the past 50 years, a place of comfort and consolation, a place to be at peace," Bishop Ray said. 

"On days when we are in trouble and panicking, we turn to Jesus Christ, this is the heart of our faith" he said.

The bishop asked those present to remember all the people in the life of this church during the past 50 years, those who struggled, those who blossomed, and those whose lives fell apart - "this was their church through all those experiences," he said.

"Let it continue to be a place of hope and a place of peace and forgiveness. Joy, love, kindness, gentleness and goodness are what we want in our homes, and what we want to experience with our neighbours and friends," Bishop Ray added.

After Mass, the large crowd descended on the Parish Hall where they enjoyed the best of home baking and tea, prepared and served up by an army of dedicated local volunteers.