St. Gabriel's Retreat, The Graan, Enniskillen
Since our last Newsletter our Community was devastated, Fr Oswald, God be good to him, died so suddenly. He had been in reasonable health over the Easter period and helped out at all the Liturgical Services as well as confessions. On the day he died he was scheduled to help out with confessions. He had been unwell the previous day but began to feel better. However Brian encouraged him to remain in bed until he was better. He was fine at midnight when Brian checked his room. But next morning when he brought him his breakfast he found Oswald dead in his room. He had a massive heart-attack. We miss Oswald greatly.
His death, and that of Fr Jerome 18 months earlier has left a huge gap in our Community. Almost every week we have to write and tell his friends across the world, that he is no longer with us. He had a wonderful funeral with a huge crowd of local people attending. We are grateful to members from other Communities who came to the funeral and indeed to the priests and religious of the area who also came. There is an obituary herewith. We know his many friends in Africa were devastated when they heard the sad news. May God have mercy on his soul. His family is in constant contact with us and we had a Month's Mind Mass which they all attended.
The Anam Cara Group goes from strength to strength. We have held our monthly meetings and we also had a pilgrimage to Achill Island where we offered Mass on an ancient Mass Rock. We also had our first marriage in the Anam Cara Group. Sincere congratulations to Geraldine and Andrew.
Victor ran a very successful Life in the Spirit Seminar. So many attended that we had to move it down to the church. It was the most successful Life in the Spirit Seminar ever held in The Graan.
After Oswald's death we had to rearrange our times of Duty. We called a meeting in the church and over 250 people came to it. We agreed on new times for Masses and Confessions and the people were most understanding.
Fr Terence is promoting devotion to The Two Hearts on Tuesday night in the Prayer Group to which he is Spiritual Director. It is has been very helpful to many people but we were disappointed when Fr Jack Mc Ardle was unable to visit us and preach, due to illness. We hope Jack is feeling better again.
We have had new Altar Severs again this year. We are blessed with a great selection of young boys and girls who are willing to serve on the altar. On our Day Out we had 22 Altar Servers.
Fr Aidan Troy came to visit us and preach on the second Anniversary of Jerome's death. We had a collection at all the Masses for the good work being done at Holy Cross, Ardoyne.
Our local Bishop Joseph Duffy, celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his Ordination as Bishop of Clogher on the 5th September. Brian and Victor represented the house at the celebrations in Monaghan Cathedral.
The Fermanagh Team's success has brought a great enthusiasm to the county including The Graan. Brian is closely associated with the Team and has offered Mass with them on their Sunday Games. It has been an absolutely wonderful year for young and old throughout the county.
President Bill and Senator Hillary Clinton came to visit Enniskillen at the end of August. It was a private visit and invitations were sent out to leaders in Cross-community work in the area. Brian was one of two clerics who were chosen to meet the couple. It has given a great boost to the work of the Clinton Centre in Enniskillen and to the many Cross-Community Projects which we are involved in here.
Just before the time of writing, we were all shocked at the sudden death of Enda Love who was a dedicated and loyal worker with us in many projects in The Graan for over 65 years. All who ever lived in The Graan will know of the good work Enda did. Even to this day he was the person who co-ordinated the Readers List, worked tirelessly organising The Draw and Dinner Dance each year, looked after many of the tasks associated with the Novena of Hope as well as attending daily Mass in The Graan. His wife Nora decorates the Altar each week.
Enda of course was also the local Undertaker who carried out all the funerals at The Graan. There will be a special Mass for Enda and his family in the coming weeks. The family home is at 6 Braeside Park, Cornagrade, Enniskillen if any member of the Province would like to write them a note of sympathy.
There are many other items which we would like to include but we hope you get a flavour of what's happening at The Graan from this selection.