Volunteers sought for clean up of historic Limerick church

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A MASSIVE clean-up of the newly acquired Sacred Heart Jesuit Church is to take place next Wednesday.

A MASSIVE clean-up of the newly acquired Sacred Heart Jesuit Church is to take place next Wednesday.

Led by former traffic controller Proinsias McMahon, it is hoped that dozens of volunteers will descend on the Crescent to help clean the iconic building.

The voluntary effort, led by a number of citizens, is to get under way at 5pm.

It will be the first time in six years the church has enjoyed a clean-up, and it has come as a result of the purchase of the building by the Institute of Christ the King.

The young community of priests - average age just 33 - plan to open the church to the celebration of Latin mass from next month.

And it is hoped that further down the line, it will also be used as a community facility.

Mr McMahon is organising the cleanup, with support from Pat Kearney, managing director of Rooney Auctioneers which sold the property to the Order.

“It is a wonderful building, and it is a credit to it that [the interior] has not deteriorated over the years,” he said.

Mr McMahon used to worship at the church as a youngster, and now feels it is time to give back.

“The building is a beautiful building. But given they are an order of priests, they would have few resources. So I thought it would be a good idea to have this clean-up,” he added.

Mr McMahon recalls the church as being a great place to go.

“It has a beautiful design inside. It would be a shame to think we did not open it properly, or welcome this new religious order. The best way to do this is on a practical basis: to turn up with a mop and bucket,” he said.

In a bid to do as good a job as possible, Mr McMahon is to engage a cleaning company to lead the operation.

He said: “One of the things we want to do is have it ordered in a way. We don’t want to be tripping over each other’s buckets!”

The Adare man is looking from help from: “Anyone who can walk. Anyone with one hand, anyone who is familiar with the operation of a brush. And even those who are not!”

He hopes at least 50 people attend next Wednesday.

“If it becomes 60 or 70, it will be the work of a higher power,” he laughed.

When Mr McMahon contacted Canon Wulfran Lebocq, of the Institute of Christ the King, he was taken aback.

“It caught him a bit by surprise. He phoned me twice to confirm that it was happening. Hopefully it will. Even if there are just five people, that will be fine. But it will save on the elbow grease of these five if we had another 40!”

Mr McMahon used to study at St Munchin’s and added: “There was a time we used to enjoy meeting them in rugby. We always used to clean up against the rugby team: now we are cleaning up their church!”

He paid tribute to Mr Kearney, who is spreading the word through the Limerick Rotary Club, as well as McKern’s Printing, who have produced posters highlighting the event for free.

For more information on the clean-up, contact 087-7804200.