Limerick Lourdes Gala Ball marks silver anniversary

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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nick@limerickleader.ie

The 2018 committee: Carol Storan, Deborah Fitzpatrick, Cliodna Mulcahy, Canon Donal McNamara and Kathleen O'Carroll. Below, the original committee in 1993

The 2018 committee: Carol Storan, Deborah Fitzpatrick, Cliodna Mulcahy, Canon Donal McNamara and Kathleen O'Carroll. Below, the original committee in 1993

A MAJOR fundraiser on the road to Lourdes will mark its silver anniversary this month.

Castletroy Park Hotel is to play host to the 2018 Limerick Lourdes Gala Ball from 7.30pm on Saturday, January 27 next.

All proceeds will go to the Limerick Lourdes Invalid Fund, which exists to financially support pilgrims who might not be able to afford the full cost of travelling to the ‘miracle site’ in France.

Tickets are still available for the event, Canon Donal McNamara, the Limerick Diocesan Lourdes director, said.

“It’s one of our main fundraising activities of the year for the Lourdes fund. There are a lot of expenses incurred.

“We subsidise the invalids travelling, we subsidise the 120 to 130 voluntary workers. Then there are of course a lot of expenses incurred while in Lourdes itself,” said Canon McNamara, who is the Parish Priest at St Munchin’s Church in Clancy’s Strand.

The Diocesan pilgrimage travels to Lourdes each year out of Shannon, and returns on June 27.

More than 500 pilgrims travel to France for the week, and they are led by Bishop Brendan Leahy, assisted by Bishop Emeritus Dr Donal Murray.

Of those travelling, 70 are assisted pilgrims, 120 voluntary workers, 100 youngsters, and 23 priests.

As well as raising vital funds for the pilgrimage, Canon McNamara feels the event also serves to raise awareness of the annual visit.

The Lourdes Office for all those wishing to travel with the Limerick Pilgrimage in 2018 will be opened at the end of February.

It’s located in the Social Service Centre at Henry Street in the city centre.

For more information, telephone Canon McNamara at 087-2402518.