BATTLE OF THE SOMME CENTENARY

1st July 2016

The Battle of the Somme was fought at such terrible cost that it has come to symbolise the tragic futility of the First World War. Its first day of conflict remains the bloodiest day in British Military history. Many of the soldiers who had signed up were everyday young Irishmen from close-knit communities who subsequently suffered horrible losses. Often they were good friends, neighbours and colleagues who joined up together on the promise they would serve alongside each other. They also died together and their loss and suffering was felt deeply at home in parishes and townlands throughout Ireland just as elsewhere.

The 100th anniversary on July 1 provides a unique opportunity to commemorate the Service and sacrifice of the 1 million men of all nations who lost their lives in the battle, to reflect upon the human cost of conflict and to have hope for a more peaceful world. St. John's Church tolled the bell on July 1st at 7.30am to mark the centenary moment when troops left the safety of their trenches, and at 11am to coincide with the opening of the international battlefield commemorations in Thiepval, France which were televised live by RTE.

Congratulations to the boys and girls of the parish who were confirmed on Thursday and Friday. On behalf of the people, we wish to thank very sincerely the teachers who prepared the boys and girls so well. A special word of thanks to the parents for making the occasion special and prayerful.

ST JOHN’S parish has launched ‘The Year of Mercy’ which will see a number of events come to the parish over the coming weeks.

Pope Francis will launch ‘The Year of Mercy’ in Rome on December 8 and St John’s parish will follow suit with a number of events for the entire year.

The concept behind ‘The Year of Mercy’ is that people be conscious of both giving and receiving mercy and forgiveness.

A reflection on ‘Giving Witness to our Faith in The Year of Mercy’ will be given by guest speaker, Philip Ryan. It will take place on December 3rd at 7:30pm at St John’s Parish Church.

On Wednesday, December 9th, Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne, will attend to give a personal reflection on ‘The Year of Mercy’.

‘A Festival of Prayer and Reconciliation’ will take place on the last Sunday before Christmas, on December 22nd.

Thoughout the year there will be various events, evenings of prayer and reflection and a novena that will be held at the end of May.

There will be a focus on organising a variety of events to appeal to the widest possible members of the parish and outside the parish.

New boxes of envelopes for the coming year are available for collection at the Parish Centre. If possible please bring in the top of the old box with the number on it. Contributing weekly by means of our envelope system is of great benefit to the parish and we invite interested parishioners to contact the Parish Centre to receive a box of envelopes or get further information.

The final figure for the Bazaar which took place in December was €39,655.48 We would like to thank most sincerely our sponsors, all those who donated money and gifts, and all those who helped in any way towards the successful running of the Bazaar.