Fr Tom easing back into work

Tadhg Evans

The weekend was a lovely enough occasion as it was with Fossa's Prince of Peace Church hosting a Harvest Mass of Thanksgiving, a celebration of the locality's considerable industry, hospitality, gardens, farms, schools, and voluntary clubs and organisations.

But amidst the flags and trophies present to decorate the occasion - taking place during the ongoing Season of Creation - it also brought great smiles from the congregation to see the hugely popular Canon Tom Looney present alongside the day's chief celebrant, Fr John Ahern.

Fr Tom, who recently celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his 1969 Ordination, told The Kerryman that he is easing himself back into work as he recovers from Cancer – but he has been pretty active in recent days, it must be said.

Following on from celebrations in Fossa, he hosted a fundraising coffee morning in Fossa Presbytery - in aid of Kerry Hospice Foundation, a cause that is, of course, very close to his heart - and it proved a very successful venture.

"We've raised €1,426 for the Kerry Hospice Foundation to date," he said, "and there are more donations coming in".

"It was organised alongside Norann Moran of Fossa National School, Siobhan McSweeney and the Legion of Mary, and it was very well-supported, with lots of people bringing some baking with them on the day.

"It's a cause very close to my heart having gone through Cancer recently. I'm feeling quite good at the moment, and I'm easing my way back into my work," Canon Tom addded.

And following on from last Sunday's Season of Creation ceremonies, the end of the Season and the start of a new school year at Fossa National School will be marked at the Prince of Peace Church on Friday, October 4.

The Mass falls on the Feast Day of St Francis, and Canon Tom explained that the Franciscan's Order's contribution to the locality, dating back to the 13th century, will be celebrated on the day.

"I'm very much looking forward to it," Canon Tom said to The Kerryman.

"Among other things, I'm looking forward to seeing the newly ordained Fr Vincent OFM present as we mark St Francis' Feast Day, the locality's links to the Franciscans dating back to 1253, and the final day of the Church's Season of Creation, October 4," Canon Tom added.