2001-06-16 / Columnists

Meet The Irish by Harry McGuirk

There is great anguish in County Antrim since news reports said that St. Bernard’s Church on the Antrim Road had been burned to the ground. Nothing was left. The Catholic Church in Len Gornley was burned to the ground. When the fire brigade arrived early Monday morning the roof was in flames. Mass was said in the school assembly hall. Father Daniel Whyth assured his 2500 parishioners that the church would be rebuilt. It will cost two million pounds to rebuild. It took seven fire appliances several hours to prevent the fire from burning down the primary school.

First on the scene representing the Protestant Churches was the moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Doctor Allister Dunlap. He offered his condolences to the Catholic congregation and assured support from the Protestant congregations. A week before, a Presbyterian Church near Gilford, County Down was destroyed in an arson attack. People are appalled at the destruction of the Christian Churches.

Everyone in Ireland is interested in Saint Theresa of the Little Flower. She was a writer. She loved everyone, especially Holy Jesus. We suppose that’s why Saint Theresa helps so many that pray to her. We know that Pope John Paul had throngs of people by the million out to greet him on his first visit to Ireland but Saint Theresa is something else again after over a hundred years. It’s like she came to life again.

With happy memories of her visits to the communities around Ireland still a little sadness is felt as her casket moves on. Over the weekend it was Tuam, County Galway and then Knock, County Mayo. We are keeping our friends in mind when we pray. We thank God for bringing this lovely saint of the roses to our small land which is in a muddle on the international scene at the moment. We think Ireland needs prayers!

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