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Papal Nuncio Visits Ashbourne – “Are we ready?”
Thursday, April 19th 2018

His Excellency Jude Thaddaeus Okolo, Papal Nuncio to Ireland visited Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish last weekend.  He was formally welcomed to the parish by Ciarán Lawless (Parish Pastoral Council) at the beginning of Mass.

The Sprinkling Rite took place at the Baptism font, blessed by Bishop Smith earlier that morning before the commencement of Mass.  Candy Querida-Maia  and Anastasija Sitova, both received into the Church at Easter assisted the Nuncio during the Sprinkling Rite at the beginning of Mass.  The scripture readings were read by Blannaid Naghten and Jim Kavanagh.  During his homily, the Papal Nuncio, asked those gathered if they were ready to welcome the Holy Father as he prepares to travel to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in August. He also spoke of the influence Irish missionaries had on his own call to the priesthood.  The Prayers of the Faithful were read in some of the languages which make up the rich tapestry of languages and cultures in Ashbourne.   Linus and Meg Offiah, and members of the Kavanagh Family presented the offertory.

   

The Papal Nuncio joined the parish community to posthumously present the Benemerenti Medal on behalf of Pope Francis to the family of the late John Mc Ginley.  This Papal honour, given for service to the Church, recognises John’s work and craftsmanship in creating the six stained glass windows which illumine the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Ashbourne.  George Walsh, artist, who originally designed the windows was also present to celebrate and honour his late colleague and friend.  The medal and parchment were received by John’s son Robbie Mc Ginley.

John’s career took him all over the world: the cathedral in Porto, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, Texas and New York.  Closer to home, John worked on the stained glass windows in OL of Victories church in Ballymun, St. Canices, Finglas and the Church of the Annunciation in Finglas West, and of course Ashbourne.

His excellency also formally launched the recently published booklet on the stained glass windows.  The booklet entitled, ‘The Story of our Stained Glass’,  preserves the past for future generations, and enlightens all who bathe in the colourful lights of the church.

Thanks were expressed to Ashbourne Church Choir who provided the music for both ceremonies, servers, those who offered hospitality and those who decorated the church.  Parishioners retired to the Parish Hall for a reception afterwards and the opportunity to meet the Papal Nuncio.

  

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