Over 200 attended a Mass of Remembrance for deceased members and staff of An Garda Síochána at St. Francis Church, Liberty Street Cork on Wednesday evening. The annual Cork City Garda Mass was con-celebrated by his Grace, Bishop John Buckley, Fr. Pat Stevenson and Fr. Christy Regan (OFM). The Cork Garda Choir set the scene with a beautiful Entrance Hymn:
There a time for remembering a time to recall,
The trials and the triumphs, the fears and the falls,
There’s a time to be grateful for moments so blest,
The jewels of our memory where love is our guest.
On each side of the alter the National Tricolour and the Garda Síochána flags were displayed. During the Mass a Garda-Cap & Notebook were presented to remind the congretation of the dedicated service given by deceased Gardai & Clerical Staff who died. All attending, lit a small candle in memory of a departed colleague while the Cork Garda Choir sang the hymn “Yahweh’s Love will last Forever – God be with us till we meet again”. For the Liturgury of the Word , Supt. Tom Moyers read the “First Reading” and Assistant Garda Commissioner, Tony Quilter, the “Second Reading”.
Prayers of the Faithful were read by:- Sgt. Ray Dunne, Helen Fuller, Tim Bowe, Gda. Joan Meaney, Detective Garda Pat Wallace, Garda Dan Cowman. Garda Sheila Griffin and Sgt. Brian Murphy.
Specially remembers during the Mass were:-
- Charle Mahony
- Pat Carrie,
- Patrick Doherty
- Greg Mulkeen
- Joe Kenny
- Anne Feeney
- Theresa Gill
- Siun Power
- Fr. Seraphen Kennedy
- John Corcoran (12th Anniversary).
In the homily, Fr. Stevenson spoke on the huge sacrifices Gardai paid since the foundation of the force in 1922, making particular reference to the 86 names on the Garda Síochána “Roll of Honour” list. The coming together annually to comfort and support one another at the Garda Remembrance Mass helps to build-up the fine tradition of An Garda Síochána and it was now a very difficult time for the force. Fr. Stvenson made reference to the “Second Reading” where the message of St. James states “You must be patient; do not lose heart, because the Lord’s coming will be soon. Remember it is those who had perseverance that we say are the blessed ones”.
Sgt. Conor Dillon, Sgt. Terry Murphy, R/Garda Ian Saville and Retired Sgt. John F. Murray, assisted with the “Offertory Procession”
Eilish Whelan, Margaret Corcoran, and John Murray were Ministers of the Eucharist.
After Communion, Sergeant Netta Browne recited a reflection by Peig Sayers which read:
“A Simple Life but Close to God“
It is a simple life we lived here,
but nobody could say it was comfortable.
Often during life I have known God’s holy help, because I was often in the grip of a sorrow from which I could not escape.
When the need was greatest,
God would lay his merciful eye on me,
and the clouds of sorrow would be gone without trace.
In their place would be a spiritual joy whose sweetness I cannot describe here.
There are people who think this island is a lonely place, but the peace of God is here.
We helped each other, and lived in the shelter of each other.
But now my life is spent, like a candle, and my hope is rising every day that I’ll be called into the eternal kingdom.
May God guide me on this long road I have not travelled before.
I think that everything is folly except for loving God.”
Fr. Stevenson, thanked the organising Mass Committee : Sgt. Netta Browne; Sgt. Ray Dunne; Sgt. Adrian Gamble; Sgt. Connor Dillon; Ms. Helen Fuller (Clerical Officer) and Retired Sgt. John F. Murray. A beautiful Mass Booklet was prepared by Sgt. Netta Brown and the committee.
At the conclusion of Mass, His Grace, Bishop John Buckley thanked the Gardai and all the Retired Members for taking part in the Mass and for their support. Over twenty (20) members of the Garda Force turned-out in uniform for the Mass.
The Cork Garda Choir kept for the Recessional Hymn sang “Shenandoah”.
Since 1978 the Cork Garda Choir have given outstanding service at the November Mass of Deceased Members/Staff of An Garda Síochána. The buala-boss that followed their performance last evening is a clear reminder that serving & Retired Garda deeply appreciate their beautiful hymns. Next Sunday at 11.00 am. the Cork Garda Choir along with some retired members will be featured on RTE (1) in a Ecumenical Service from RTE Studio.
After the Mass tea/coffee, beautiful cakes and sandwiches were served while old friends sat and chatted.
Perhaps you were unable to attend and sat quietly on a chair at home.
Well these few words are typed specially for you.