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Light Of Hope Shines In Ennis

ALMOST one thousand lights shone out of the darkness at an Ennis church on Wednesday evening, each one a beacon of hope that we will come through the current Covid-19 crisis.
Cloughleigh Church was lit up with hundreds of candles in a special ceremony which was recorded and will be broadcast on Fr Ger Fitzgerald’s Facebook page. A number of people living in Cloughleigh also played their part by placing their own lights in the windows of their homes.
According to Fr Ger he has been “overwhelmed” with the response to the Light up the Dark idea, and he hopes the broadcast will “bring a moment of peace to people.”
“The idea for the Light up the Dark came, first of all, from the general sense of unease, uncertainty and anxiety that is around at the moment because of COVID-19. People are worried about their loved ones, themselves, their jobs and it’s for many a dark moment. So, I was trying to come up with a way of lifting spirits, even if it was only for one night and even if only temporarily. I was reminded of a passage in St Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus says that ‘You are the light of the world’. That’s a very powerful statement, because one tiny light can overcome even the worst and deepest darkness. I was also reminded of a passage in St John’s Gospel when we are told that a light will shine in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it. So, I decided to do something around light, light in the darkness. I didn’t know it would take off like it did though.”
He put out a post on Facebook, inviting people to like it and that he would light a candle for each like. “I expected maybe 200 at most, but we ended up with nearly 1,000. I think that’s very beautiful and symbolic in these times. Imagine, nearly 1,000 lights of hope, nearly 1,000 lights saying that we stand together against this virus, nearly 1,000 lights praying for each other’s safety and health in these times, praying for the magnificent healthcare workers and frontline staff who are laying down their own lives day in and day out so that others may have life. That is amazing, that is true heroism in my book and I thank them.”
The ceremony, with music, prayer, silence, reflection and a blessing has been filmed by Paul Corey.
“I’m hoping that it will be a beautiful experience for all who will see it. I thank very sincerely all who have helped me to arrange this by passing out notes and flyers, by sending messages and texts and by helping me with messages. Special credit is due to one of my neighbours up the road, Hannah, who has done great work for me.”
He adds that while there is feeling of uncertainty in the local area, there is also one of solidarity. We are in this together and responding with the very best of what it is to be living in Cloughleigh and in Ennis. The support and caring attitude is amazing to see and I’m blessed each day to see such great community spirit. We are hopeful that it will pass quickly and that our loved ones will be safe and sound. I will be praying for everyone.”

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