Cross Retreat, Ardoyne, Belfast
of us know from experience that the summer season is
not the nicest time to be in Ardoyne. The annual marches and
other public demonstrations are often so provocative and
threatening they lead to rioting and other destructive
behaviour. This year it has to be said turned out to be an
improvement. For the most part, the July celebrations passed
off peacefully with just a few disturbances. People here said it
was the quietest twelfth in decades. In this parish a massive
presence of military and police proved a huge deterrent to
trouble-makers. There was also co-operation at the local level
and hopefully this will be a key factor in strengthening a
fragile peace in the area.
Ephrem and Paul Byrne at Queen's University
Two of our community members, Angelo and Myles, have had
a spell in hospital and Paschal spent a month in a nursing
home. They are happy to be back with us but these stays in
hospital remind us of our declining state of health and the
fewness of our members for the workload.
hasn't prevented us from forging ahead with the restoring
of Holy Cross Church and the necessary fund raising that goes
with it. The flooring has been sanded and varnished, the pews
stripped and polished and the main entrance is presently
being restored to its original state. Roof work, painting and
lighting lie ahead of us. The parishioners are pleased that the
church they love is getting a face lift. Aidan and Gary are
giving a strong lead in the matter of raising funds and we have
secured a grant of £162,850 from the Department of the
Environment and Heritage Service for the work.
piece of news we could have done without is that the
diocese, in a drive for renewal, has asked Holy Cross Parish for
a contribution of just over £100,000. This is a huge burden for
the parish; it will be difficult to cope with it.
brethren who worked in Ardoyne will be sorry to hear of
the retirement of Sr Frances as principal of Mercy Primary
School. As a thank you for years of devoted service, we had a
mass led by Bishop Farquhar and afterwards a
meal in the Monastery for the Mercy Sisters. It will be difficult
to replace Sr Frances. Another visitor for lunch was Alex
Maskey, Lord Mayor of Belfast. Before his departure from office
he and his wife came to visit us and we had a very relaxed
student Paul Byrne was
given a B.A., with second
class honours, from Queens'
University. Paul worked very
hard for this award. He is now
preparing for the Novitiate
year which will start, in
England, in September.
Left - Paul and Fr. Gary
was one of the team
that gave the annual novena
in honour of Our Lady of
Perpetual Help in Clonard.
With ten sessions a day and a
full church for each of them
the team were fully occupied.
Brian D'Arcy is the main speaker at our Novena honouring Our
Lady of Sorrows, in September. (Salvian CP)