Church rallies for missionary Eamon
The parishioners of St Mary's, Drogheda, certainly showed their spirit of generosity on Thursday last when they turned out in force on a dreadful night to give "one of their own" Father Eamon Sheridan, a great send off before his departure for his Mission in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
Fr Phil Gaffney, Parish Priest, organised a wonderful night in St Mary's Church for his friend which revealed the popularity of the man who was born just a stones throw from the James' Street Church.
The evening was masterfully compered by Alison Comyn, making a welcome return to her native town, who had a few words with a clearly emotional Father Eamon during the evening, who declared that his purpose in life was to minister and help those who were disadvantaged. He revealed that this decision was taken as a young man when he joined the Columban Fathers to carry out this work. He revealed he was overwhelmed with the magnificent support he received and thanked the attendance and all the performers who made the evening such an outstanding success.
Fr Phil Gaffney told the large attendance that his friendship with Fr Eamon went back to the days when both of them were students in Maynooth.
Although their vocations took them in different directions, nevertheless, he always admired Fr Eamon's dedication to his pastoral duties and mentioned the respect in which he was held in his previous ministry, Ballymun, with a contingent travelling down for the night. In his remarks, Father Phil paid tribute to everybody who had made the night such a success revealing that the expected monies raised would amount to somewhere in the region of €6,000. This would go to the Columban Order to assist Father Eamon's Mission in Myanmar.
He paid special thanks to Alison Comyn for compering the evening, Mr David Leddy, Musical Director of the Drogheda Male Voice Choir, for putting an enormous amount of work into organising a wonderful night's entertainment and Seamie Briscoe who also played a significant part in the organising of the event.
The beautiful church, which had a marvellously adorned and lit backdrop, proved to be a magnificent setting for the performers who provided such an entertaining evening for the large attendance. There was a real 'local' aura with St Mary's Youth Choir making a superb debut performance in their own church with a lovely set. Another Marian Park resident, John Farrell, had the audience clapping with his harmonica medley. The Mornington Gospel Choir kept the proceedings very much alive with an array of lively Gospel pieces. Timmy Regan and Amie Dyer performed show stopping solo's before Dick Murphy delivered a monologue appropriate for the evening, "The Mission".
The evenings musical entertainment ended with the marvellous Drogheda Male Voice Choir who featured soloists, Michael Rafferty and Ben Buckley.
Father Eamon Sheridan leaves for his mission in Myanmar next week with the memories and good wishes of his native townspeople and friends forever etched in his reverie.