FEAST DAY: On Sunday last we celebrated in our parish the Feast of St Munchin. Bishop Donal Murray celebrated Mass with Canon Donal McNamara PP and Fr Tony who is visiting us from Ghana. Unfortunately very little is known about St Munchin. He was known as Munchin the Wise, also referred to as Mainchin – little Monk. He is believed to have founded the Church in Limerick in the late sixth century, acquiring special eminence as patron of Limerick City. He is of course patron of our own parish of St Munchins. The other saint to which our parish is dedicated is St Lelia. The belief that she was the sister of St Munchin is based on tradition.
According to the recently published book “The Diocese of Limerick”, St Munchin’s parish is one of the five original parishes in Limerick city along with St John’s, St Michael’s, St Mary’s and St Patrick’s. Due to the growth of the city in the last forty years, the geographical area of St Munchin’s has been reduced greatly with the creation of new parishes. In 1964 the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary was formed from the south eastern part of the parish while in 1970 Christ the King in Caherdavin to the west was established and six years later a new parish of Corpus Christi was erected to cater for the new housing estate.
There is also a parish dedicated to St Munchin in Clinton County, Cameron, Missouri. It was established as a Mission in the 1840s to accommodate about twelve Catholic families and the transient railroad workers who were building the railroad from Hannibal to St Josephs. It is now one of the oldest parishes in the diocese of St. Joseph.
The first Mass offered in Cameron was celebrated by Fr Joseph Scanlon in 1846. A timetable for 1860 shows that Mass was celebrated in Cameron only five times that year.
In March 1868 Fr John Hogan who was from Grange Co Limerick, was appointed the first Bishop of St. Josephs. He was consecrated in September 1868. Twelve years later in September 1880 he became the first Bishop of Kansas City and remained as Administer of the Diocese of St Josephs. He has the unique distinction of being the first Bishop of two Diocese.
The parish of St Munchin, Clinton County celebrated its centennial in l967 when Fr John Hix was pastor.
In 2001 Pastor Fr Paul Turner while giving a presentation at a conference remarked that the parishioners of St. Munchin in Cameron were proud of their unusual name and the fact that they are the only St Munchin Church in all of North America. A member of the audience that day was Fr Patrick Jones from the Limerick diocese. He passed the news on to Bishop Donal Murray who subsequently sent an email greeting to Fr. Turner, thus creating the first link between the two parishes of St Munchin on both sides of the Atlantic.
In 2005, at the request of Fr Paul Turner, Fr Michael O’Shea (who at that time was curate in our parish) visited the parish of St. Munchin in Clinton County, and represented our parish at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He took with him a special message from Bishop Donal Murray, and congratulations from our parish to theirs as they celebrated their 150th anniversary. On that occasion Mayor Michael Hourigan also sent greetings to Mayor Larry McCord Jnr. of Cameron.
One of the highlights of Fr. Michael’s visit in 2005 was the St. Patrick’s Day Parade when he had the honour of joining Bishop Robert Finn (co-adjutor of the diocese) as Grand Marshals presiding over the 25th Cameron St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
NEW YEAR GREETNGS FROM CANON DONAL PP: “Fr Pat and I wish to acknowledge your support, kindness, appreciation and generosity over the last twelve months, with particular emphasis on your recent Christmas offerings to the priests. Be assured of a continued remembrance in our Masses and prayers. We would like to wish you a very happy, peaceful and healthy New Year. If at any stage we can be of assistance in any way, please have no hesitation in contacting either or us.
Fr Pat as you know is recovering after his recent surgery and he appreciates greatly your support and prayers. Please God he will be back in our midst in the not too distant future. Sincere New Year Wishes, Canon Donal”
We the parishioners of St Munchin’s / St Lelia’s wish Fr Pat health and happiness in 2014 and we assure him of our continued prayers for a speedy recovery.
PILGRIMAGE ON THE CAMINO: The Youth Ministry team of the Limerick diocese hope to lead a pilgrimage of young people on the Camino from July 8 to July 15 (2014). Young people interested must be over the age of twenty-one at the time of travel. It is hoped that the cost of the pilgrimage will not exceed €600. An information evening was held in the Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre on November 29. Those who are interested but could not attend that meeting can find out more by phoning the Pastoral Centre on 061-400133.
MEDJUGORJE: A pilgrimage to Medjugorje has been organised to take place from May 28 to June 5, 2014. Cost of the pilgrimage is €659 and a deposit of €50 secures a place. Half board accommodation quiet close to St James Church is in place. Please contact Martin at 061-325872 or 086-7834443.
PETER PAN: Limerick Panto Society has put Peter Pan to bed! After a most successful season in The Lime Tree Theatre with full houses for all twelve performances, the curtain closed on their final Show on Sunday last. Audiences from all over the county and further afield enjoyed the superb sell-out performances during the Christmas period . The performers and crew have now returned to the real world and those who are lucky have gone back to work, while the young stars are back at school.
They are by no means resting on their laurels and are already planning for their next Panto. Since 1985/86 they have produced twenty-nine Shows annually which is a great record for a hard working amateur group. Their first production, the ever popular “Cinderella” was presented during the Christmas Season 1985/86 in The Belltable Arts Centre. and to celebrate next Christmas being their thirtieth anniversary, they will bring “Cinderella” to life again, this time in The Lime Tree Theatre. We look forward to this already.
A BLESSING OF SOLITUDE: Having bid goodbye to 2013 and welcomed in 2014, my wish now is that all readers of these notes and indeed all my colleagues who, through these community notes, keep us informed of happenings in their various parishes, will have an abundance of health, contentment and happiness in the coming year.
Perhaps I can share with you at this time my favourite poem by John O’Donohue entitled “A Blessing of Solitude” :
“May you recognise in your life the presence, power and light of your Soul. May you realise that you are never alone, that your Soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe. May you have respect for your own individuality and difference. May you realise that the shape of your Soul is unique, that you have a special destiny here, that behind the façade of your life there is something beautiful, good and eternal happening. May you learn to see yourself with the same delight, pride and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.”